The boxing scene in the Western Cape is experiencing a renaissance like never before.
That is at least according to Boxing South Africa (BSA) Western Cape manager, Mzoli Tempi.
This year has proven to be a landmark for the province, which hosted an unusual 13 tournaments, signifying not only the growth of the sport but also a commitment to the development of boxers within the province.
Speaking to this reporter, Tempi with a twinkle in his eye, reflected on the remarkable achievements of the year, especially highlighting women’s boxing.
The province boasts eight professional women fighters, with the likes of Yonelisa Poni making waves on a national level by challenging for the SA title in Port Elizabeth just a month ago.
Tempi underlined the importance of fostering competition for women in the ring and in various other roles within the sport, such as officiating and promoting, and perhaps even taking on the position he currently holds.
The surge in tournaments is credited to the collaborative efforts of promoters, gyms, and other stakeholders in the province.
Tempi takes pride not only in the increased number of tournaments but also in the province’s nominees at this year’s BSA awards: Jackie Brice for the promoter of the year, Simamkele Tutsheni as female boxer of the year, Sinethemba Blom in a fight of the year, and Shepherd Dyani as ring announcer of the year.
This weekend at Ottery, the 13th tournament of the year promises to be a spectacle, with women headlining in the junior featherweight category.
Simamkele Tutsheni and Adidya Mimu, from Malawi, will be locking horns, symbolising the continued push for gender equality in the sport.
A tantalising card awaits boxing enthusiasts, featuring promising prospects like Asekho Nocele, Owen Vengenayi and Khaya Mlata — a sign of the youthful vigour and talent surging through the ranks.
Jackie Brice Promotions takes the reins for this event.
“It’s a team effort really. Boxing nationally is not in a good space but we have been working really well with our provincial manager (Tempi) and he has done an amazing job. Every stakeholder, boxer, managers, provincial boxing board is the reason, all are the reason we working so well,” said Brice.
Tempi adds: “Myself and the promoters looked at where we can make Western Cape better, and point number one was providing provincial titles.
“We then said let us have at least one female bout in most tournaments, and we would love to have a minimum of two, but we have to start somewhere,” he said.
He then proudly highlights the achievements of female boxers such as Poni, Tutsheni, Okuhle Mti, Caleigh Swart, and Samantha Sam, showcasing the wealth of talent.
“Without supporters, we can never grow, so everyone has to come to the table, and we have to work with the clubs and make sure the clubs grow by being involved with sales and supporters’ interactions,” said Tempi.
On a final note, Tempi expresses a commitment to honouring the province’s legends at every tournament, ensuring that each event holds significance for the people of the Western Cape.