Newly-crowned world female boxing champion Bukiwe “Anaconda” Nonina says she is deeply hurt by the cold shoulder from the local fight public which wrote her off against highly-rated Alesia Graf from Germany.
“Many people wrote on social media last week that I will be stopped in three rounds by Graf,” said Nonina, who confounded the former two-time world champion for the vacant WBF bantamweight title in Cape Town, South Africa, on Friday.
“I have received many congratulatory messages from outside South Africa. I feel very happy not only to be a world champion but to beat such a respected boxer.”
“I was so fit that I could not believe my performance,” said Nonina, who is based in Venda and is trained by unheralded trainer Immanuel Mutavhatsindi.
Graf was a favourite going into the fight based on her 13 knockouts in 29 wins.
Nonina, 25, from Dutywa, Eastern Cape, bettered her CV to 11 wins, three losses and a draw.
She remains the only South African female champion to own a championship belt, a feat that earned her Boxing South Africa’s 2016 Female Boxer of the Year.
Nonina was encouraged by her father to join boxing because he trained amateurs in Klerksdorp, said Nonina, who did a course in electrical engineering at Madzaha College.
Mutavhatsindi said: “Her biggest strength is her ability to listen. She is destined for great things.”
The fight was stopped in the sixth round due to a cut Bejaran sustained in the second round.
The bout was declared a technical draw.
— Bongani Magasela