Nozipho Bell bags another shot at world title

Gearing up for the Women in Boxing Tournament which takes place on March 23 at the Nangoza Jebe Hall in New Brighton are, from left, Raizel Mohamed, Nozipho Bell, Mbali Zantsi, of Zantsi Showtime Production, and Noni ‘She Bee’ Tenge
Gearing up for the Women in Boxing Tournament which takes place on March 23 at the Nangoza Jebe Hall in New Brighton are, from left, Raizel Mohamed, Nozipho Bell, Mbali Zantsi, of Zantsi Showtime Production, and Noni ‘She Bee’ Tenge
Image: Fredlin Adriaan

Port Elizabeth’s finest female boxer, Nozipho Bell, will have another go at a world title when she fights Unathi Myekeni for her World Boxing Federation featherweight belt in the Women in Boxing Tournament at Nangoza Jebe Hall in New Brighton, on March 23.

This comes after the Walmer Township boxer lost the WBO female world super featherweight championship title to Poland’s Ewa Brodnicka in October last year.

The 29-year-old South African junior lightweight champion said the fight against the East London-born 36-year-old boxer was an opportunity to redeem herself.

“I know people will be questioning my change in division,” Bell said.

“I don’t see that much of a difference because I’ll only have to drop one kilogram for the fight. That won’t be difficult for me.

“When I heard the news that I will be fighting for the WBF world title I was very excited because this is going to be my first fight this year.

“Plus it’s another world title fight after my loss in Poland.

“This fight is very important to me because it is going to open doors for bigger titles and it is an opportunity to redeem myself after losing to Brodnicka,” she said.

“I know Unathi, I have seen her fight but my focus is not on her.

When I heard the news that I will be fighting for the WBF world title I was very excited because this is going to be my first fight this year
PE boxer, Nozipho Bell

“I don’t like to study my opponents. My focus is on me and I am looking to win this fight.”

Trainer Caiphus Ntante said: “We know it will not be easy fighting against Myekeni because she has been around for a very long time.

“But I think the age factor will be to our advantage.

“We will make sure that we use this opportunity to make PE proud once again because at the end of the day we need boxing to go back to where it was in previous years.”

Langa Tsotsobe, who manages Myekeni, said his fighter would be coming down from Johannesburg to PE early so that she can acclimatise.

“From our side we are ready and prepared. She knows that she has to defend her title.

“We are waiting for Nozipho to come and show us what she has got.”

Promoter Mbali Zantsi said the tournament was part of the international world women’s month celebration.

She said the purpose of the event was to celebrate women’s social, economic and political achievements and also to call for gender equality.

Zantsi said this was not just to demand decency and respect but was about recognising and cherishing the bravery of women across the world.

“We are saying let girls be girls. Let them do what they want to do and whatever they want to aspire to be, let them be,” she said.

“We are not saying we want to be men. We are still embracing the women in us but then we are saying let us play as hard as we work.”

The all-women boxing event will feature Myekeni vs Bell as the main bout with the supporting bout between Melissa Miller and Thema Zuma.

Other fights will be between Nomampondomise Xhotyeni and Nompumelelo Sibiya and Raizel Mohamed and Nomazithini Ntyambo.

“We will also have male bouts as curtain-raisers,” Zantsi said.

“We hope that this will not just be a once-off event but a programme that will be sustainable and we’ll be able to see results after three to five years.”

Four-time world title champion Noni “She Bee” Tenge will also have a chance brush off the ring rust when she fights against Mapule Ngubane.

The East London boxer, who last fought in September 2017, is preparing to defend her WBF title against Hanna Gabriel of Las Vegas in June.

The event is put together by Zantsi Showtime Production in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality.

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