Eastern Cape amateur boxers shone on Thursday, the first day of the South African National Amateur Boxing Association’s (Sanabo) elite championships, being held at Mdantsane’s Indoor Sports Centre.
The Daily Dispatch’s Sabelo Skiti reports that the championships, which pit the might of each of the nine province’s amateur talent against each other, carry on until Saturday. By the end of the tournament 144 senior boxers would have fought each other in the knockout tournament.
At stake is a gold medal, as well as a place in the national team across the various weight divisions, said Sanabo president Barries Barnard.
ÔÇ£We’re very happy to be in East London, which is considered the mecca of boxing, and we really appreciate the help we got from the Buffalo City Municipality, the provincial sports office, as well as Lotto for their role in making this tournament possible.
ÔÇ£In boxing you don’t select the boxers (for the national team), there’s no such thing as selecting; you win the gold, you’re in the team. That’s the message I would like to send to participants in the tournament,ÔÇØ said Barnard.
Most of the action yesterday was in the 60 and 69kg divisions, and saw the hosting province assert its dominance with two good wins.
Locals Phila Mpontshanene and Yanga Gingxana proved too good for their opponents. Their wins over Allen Bouwer from Gauteng and North West’s Gerald Mokoto respectively got team Eastern Cape close to their goal of the biggest medal haul.
Mpontshanene dominated his opponent from the start with some good movement and telling combinations, but was worn down by Bouwer’s dangerous right. By the time the fight got to the third and final round Mpontshanene had switched to survival mode. He eventually scraped through with a 23-20 decision.
It was the same for Gingxana, who failed to press home a clear advantage and stop his opponent. The Duncan Village boxer was simply too slick and too good for his opponent, but got complacent.
In other bouts Heavymon Minyuku of Limpopo stopped Western Cape’s Sandile Hlatshwayo, whilst KwaZulu-Natal’s Mthunzi Shabane beat Phumlani Dikana from North West.
Other results: Limpopo bt Western Cape, Gauteng bt Free State, KwaZulu- Natal bt North Cape, Limpopo bt Northern Cape, Northern Cape bt Mpumalanga, Gauteng bt North West, Mpumalanga bt Western Cape, Western Cape bt Gauteng