Boxing tournament in honour of Madiba returns to the EC after a 2-year break

The event is aimed at celebrating Madiba's legacy as a former boxer, and highlight his contribution to sport in the country.

The tournament, featuring some of the country’s finest fighters, was relaunched by Eastern Cape boxing promoter Ayanda Matiti on Thursday, at the East London ICC. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - The annual boxing celebration of Former president Nelson Mandela in the Eastern Cape is back on track after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The tournament, featuring some of the country’s finest fighters, was relaunched by Eastern Cape boxing promoter Ayanda Matiti on Thursday, at the East London ICC.

The event is aimed at celebrating Madiba's legacy as a former boxer, and highlight his contribution to sport in the country.

Mandela did not win any major titles, but as a young man, he eagerly took to the sport of boxing.

Addressing guests, which included former international boxing champion Welcome Ncitha, Eastern Cape provincial legislature deputy speaker Mlibo Qoboshiyane and Boxing SA acting CEO Ntsikayezwe Sithole, the Xaba Promotions boss Matiti said they were aiming to celebrate Madiba in style.

He said as the world celebrated the late former statesman in July, the boxing tournament would also commemorate Mandela as a boxer and role model.

Matiti said they had prepared the "best of best" in the stable to compete in the in a five-titles fight night under the auspices of three world boxing bodies - the International Boxing Organisation, World Boxing Association, World Boxing Organization,

“We’ll celebrate Madiba with five-title fights. Let’s do it differently so that we can have our people along with the build ups until the event. We went to three world bodies and said we have something special about this man and we have these boxers who in their majority are in the top 15 world boxing rankings, some are in the top 25.

“We didn't request for the WBO International title because we felt it would be too much. We went with a world title for the WBO InterContinental title in the context of their superiority,” said Matiti.

Matiti said the WBO granted and sanctioned a superior title, the vacant WBO InterContinental, to be fought by Phumelela ‘’The Truth” Cavu against a Philippine boxer.

“We can only hope that being the youngest, Cavu can answer the questions that will be asked by the Philippine on that night."

Matiti announced the main supporting bout will feature two retired former SA champions Ncedo Cecane and Mzolisi Yoyo.

In another cracker fight, Ayanda Ndulani will put the IBO mini-flyweight belt on the line against Sphamandla Baleni in a rematch after Ndulani defeated Baleni via a 12-round decision in November 2021 at the East London ICC.

Xolisa Magusha has a vacant junior flyweight title fight against challenger Siko Moshani.

IBO World Super Flyweight Title Gideon Buthelezi will be returning to the ring.