Queens of the ring entertain crowds in the first tournament

FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY: The Chris Hani Amateur Boxing Organisation (Chabo) hosted the first all-female boxing tournament in the region, with, from left, Zamela Mketsu, referee Thandiswa Bleki and Zanele Thiyiwe participating last week

BOXING fans were treated to the first amateur female boxing tournament with 38 bouts and 60 boxers in action at the Thobi Kula Indoor Sports Centre, in Komani last week. Chris Hani Amateur Boxing Organisation (Chabo) secretary Mabhuti Mapeyi said the tournament was a success.

“We were impressed with what we saw as most of them were first-timers.” In total, nine boxing clubs, including the University of Fort Hare, participated. “This tournament was meant to improve the level of boxing in females. Our main focus was to give them time in the ring as we grow them in the sport.”

There were 22 boxers selected to form the Chris Hani team. “This was part of our talent search and we want to organise tournaments for them to fight against girls from other municipalities. We have also asked Chris Hani Sport Academy for training camps.”

However, there were a few challenges. “The municipalities managed to assist the girls with transport, but we had no food for them. We apologise to the boxers for that. It was the first time and we hope it won’t happen again.”

The best bout was between Zusakhe Tembani of Queenstown Boys Boxing Club (QBBC) and Esethu Giwe from Lady Frere whose three thrilling rounds had the fans in awe. “We hope the mayors and officials will also attend come next time.”

Mapeyi envisions a bright future for the sport. “The international rules now suit female boxers and if we can continue after this good start, I see a bright future. We can see that the coaches have been working hard.” The Eastern Cape department of sport, recreation, arts and culture provided medals and trophies.

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