Sisonke Boxing Club from East London took the overall club title at the Queenstown Boys Boxing Club (QBBC) tournament held at the Thobi Kula Indoor Sports Centre on Saturday.
The tournament which celebrated the QBBC’s 101 year anniversary saw 11 invited clubs which included Thubalethu Boxing Club from Uitenhage, Sisonke and Eyethu BC from East London, Mfuzo BC from Grahamstown, Barkly East BC, Somerset East BC, Engcobo BC, Nkwenkwana BC, Wanda BC, Banda BC, Tambo and QBBC compete for the best club title.
QBBC manager, Mabuti Mapeyi, said the club was formed on March 13, 1918 by veterans in Mlungisi to serve as a form of entertainment. “Rugby was the most popular sport back then and a new angle was then formed and boxing introduced. The veterans formed another club called the International Boxing Club in Duncan Village, East London, making it the only club to compete with QBBC.” Mapeyi said a number of people started contributing to the sport around 1960.
“I have decided to keep the history of this combat sport with this new generation. A lot of these veterans have since passed on, but I am still continuing the legacy. The support from the community has been exceptional and I am now collecting old documents as I am working together with the Queenstown and Frontier Museum to have this information displayed.”
Mapeyi said Saturday’s tournament had 40 bouts in four categories with elite boxers dominating the list. He indicated that an intense bout between Bongiwe Colani from Uitenhage and Tapelo Bokwe of Modern Boxing Club in Somerset East grabbed the attention of the spectators as both females were national and provincial champions.
Lukhanyo Matiso was announced best male boxer and Simthembile Flente of Sisonke Boxing Club was the boxer of the tournament. Gold and silver medals were presented to both the losers and winners in each bout.
23 year-old national champion Bongiwe Colani said he joined the world of boxing in 2009 and fell in love with the sport. “I started fighting in 2011 and in 2017 I came back with a silver medal from a tournament in Angola. Last year I went to go fight in Mozambique where I was awarded a silver medal and received an award for best female bout. I recently came back from a fight in Pretoria with a silver medal.” Colani said discipline and control were the contributing factors in her national championship and encouraged others who aspired to join the field of boxing to do so.
Mapeyi said the event, which was made possible by the Eastern Cape Sports Academy, was a build-up tournament. He added that plans to host another big event later this year were in the pipeline. “We are hoping to gather all veteran boxers in one room. We plan to honour those who have passed away by inviting their families to remember the role played by them in the history of boxing.”