Boxing supporters in Limpopo are gearing up for an all-female national boxing tournament taking place at Seshego near Polokwane on Friday night.
It has been organised by local boxing promoter Modipadi Kgasago, who is one of only two female boxing promoters in the province.
Fourteen boxers from across the country will face each other in different weight divisions at the Ngoako Ramathlodi sports complex.
Efforts to resurrect boxing are continuing.
Recently, Boxing South Africa has expressed concern that Limpopo province has not staged a single tournament in more than a year.
This has affected both male and female boxers.
Some are unable to defend their titles, while others are struggling to earn a living.
Boxing promoter Modipadi Kgasago is among the game changers, who want to take boxing back to its former glory.
Kgasago says the tournament, dubbed “Power to women boxing night”, will give the boxers exposure and encourage other women to take up the sport.
“I have realised that there are many female boxers in our province that don’t know where to go. So this tournament is to motivate them to avail themselves that they are there. Don’t think that this sport is only for men; even women have chances. In this fight particularly we are having four boxers from our province, but I think others are there and then they don’t know where to go.”
Kgasago says she also wants to see a rise in the number of women promoters.
She says most women are reluctant to get involved in the sport due to lack of financial support.
“We are very few in our province, for now we only two female promoters. We need more and then there are many challenges because we don’t find sponsors that’s why other women get discouraged. Now we have partnered with the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture. So I think it’s a good idea and that other women will come on board.”
Friday’s main fight will be between South African Junior Lightweight champion Nozipho Bell of the Eastern Cape and Limpopo’s Raider Muleba.
24 year-old Muleba says she is ready to take the title.
“I’m well prepared for the fight because we are done with the training. I’m positive I will win because I have been preparing myself since the 22nd of July. I think this tournament will motivate other women to join the sport. But next time it should be held in a rural area because that’s where a lot of supporters are.”
Muleba has also raised a concern that most women boxers are struggling to acquire sponsorship.
“Lack of sponsorship is our biggest challenge because that prevents us from achieving a lot of things. For example, we need to be on a proper diet and because most of us are unemployed, we end up failing to eat the right food. This affects our weight and stamina.”
Meanwhile, Kgasago has encouraged fans to support the tournament.
Tickets cost R50.