By Ron Jackson

With the Coronavirus now under control South African boxing has picked up and the number of tournaments around the country has increased with a better year for South African boxing and the fighters. 

Review of the Year

At the end of the year South Africa had two new world champions with the outstanding achievement being the 23-year-old Sivenathi Nontshinga (11-0, 9 KOs) who travelled to Hermisillo, Mexico and beat the homeboy Hector Flores Calixto on a split decision to win the vacant IBF light flyweight title.

Another outstanding performance by a South African fighter was by Hekkie Budler who was having only his second fight since 2018 and at the age of 34, beat Mexico’s Elwin Soto 19-2 in a final eliminator for the WBC light flyweight title. Budler (34-4, 10 KOs) now qualifies to meet Japan’s Kenshiro Teraji for the WBC light flyweight title.

Another fighter who upset the odds was Thato Bonokoane who won the vacant World Boxing Federation junior featherweight title with an outstanding 12 round points victory over Diego Alberto Ruiz. 


Among the promoters who staged tournaments despite the restrictions due to Coronavirus and kept boxing alive were:  

Golden Gloves Promotions – Rodney Berman

TLB Promotions – Joyce Kungwane

Xaba Promotions –Ayanda Matiti

Sifisiso Shongwe

Shereen Hunter 


Boxer of the Year:   Sivenathi Nontshinga who travelled to Mexico and beat hometown boy Hector Flores Calixto to win the vacant IBF light flyweight belt.

Fight of the Year:  Roarke Knapp won on points over 12 rounds against Brandon Thysse for African Boxing Union junior middleweight title.

Prospect of the Year:  Flyweight Phumelela Cafu who fought to a majority 12 draw for the South African flyweight title against the vastly more experienced champion Jackson Chauke on 27 March in East London.  

The skilled light flyweight Nhlanhala Tyirha who is listed at No. 6 by the WBO, No. 7 by the WBC and at No. 15 by the IBF, is a good prospect and could challenge for a world title in 2023.

Even though he won the South African super middleweight title Asemmahle Wellem must be mentioned as he joins other South African champions like E.J James Berner, Bud Gengen, Dan Hyman, Roy Ingram, Jerry Jooste, James Ginger Osborne, Andries Steyn, Ezekiel Dlamini, Reggie Hull, Robert Storbeck and Vic Toweel who South African titles in their fourth fight.

Upset of the Year: Against the odds Lusanda Kominisi beat Tshifhiwa Munyai on points over 12 rounds for the South African lightweight title at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park.

Knockout of the Year:  Gideon Buthelezi losing on a first round knockout against Dave Apolinario (Philippines) in East London, for the vacant IBO flyweight title. 

Most disappointing performance of the Year: Jeff Magagane losing the South African featherweight title against Asanda Ginque on a second round stoppage only 68 days after he won it. He came into the ring ill prepared and paid the penalty.

Comeback of the Year: Against all the odds Hekkie Budler travelled to Mexico to beat Mexico’s highly rated Elwin Soto on points over 12 rounds in a WBC light flyweight title eliminator. He had only one fight since 31 December 2018, winning against a very ordinary opponent before traveling to Mexico to upset the local fighter. 

Saddest moment of the Year: The death of the 24-year-old Simiso Buthelezi after his fight against Siphesihle Mntungwa for the vacant WBF Africa lightweight title, when the bout was stopped in the tenth round by the referee at the Greyville Convention Centre in Durban. He suffered bleeding on the brain and died on the evening of 7th June 2022. Tuesday evening. 

Trainer of the Year: Vuzi Mtolo from the RUB Gym in Edenvale. 

Best fight venue: Emperors Palace near Kempton Park and the East London International Convention Centre both of which always create a tremendous vibe.   

Manager of the Year: Colin Nathan who took two fighters to a world title and number one contender and Brian Mitchell who continues to manage fighters with success and has been awarded the prestigious The Ring magazine belt. He is only the third South African to be awarded this belt, with the other two being Vic Toweel and Hekkie Budler.

Media: SuperSport once again made it possible for boxing enthusiasts in South Africa and the rest of Africa to watch live television coverage with the screening of some local fights and world title matches from overseas, as well as repeat broadcasts, of SA tournaments and fights abroad. 

The Supersport boxing website continued to report on boxing in South Africa and the rest of the world, and included many interesting features on the history of boxing and the lives of local and foreign fighters.  In the region of 190 plus items were placed on the site from local sources plus a number of items from around the world.

Boxing writer Bongani Magasela from The Sowetan once again continued to keep boxing alive in reporting on the sport and so did Mesuli Zifo of the Daily Dispatch.

The “You tubes”, SA boxing Talk and Droeks Malan do a great job reporting on, and previewing fights.  

Ring officials

Deon Dwarte from Cape Town who has continued to perform at a high standard.

Mismatches of the Year: 

Cowin Ray winning on a third round stoppage against the inexperienced Andile Mtungwa in a clash for the South African super middleweight title.

Outstanding world title fights in 2022

7 May – Dmitry Bivol W PTS 12 Canelo Alvarez, Las Vegas. (WBA “super” light heavyweight title.                                                                                                              14 May – Jermall Charlo W KO 10 Brian Castano, Carson California. (WBC middleweight title)
14 April – Errol Spence Jr. W TKO 10 Yordenis Ugas, Arlington, Texas. (IBF/WBA/WBC welterweight titles)
25 June – Jesse Rodriguez W TKO 8 Srisaket Sor Runvisai, San Antonio, Texas. (WBC junior bantamweight title)
5 June – Devin Haney W PTS 12 George Kambosas Jr. Melbourne, Australia. (IBF/WBA super, WBC, WBO lightweight titles).


Heavyweight:  26 March – Joshua Pretorius beat Juan Roux, pts 12, Kempton Park.

                         11 June – Chris Thompson beat Joshua Pretorius, pts 12, Kempton Park.

                         11 December – Keaton Gomes beat Chris Thompson, tko 6, Kempton Park

Junior heavyweight: Nil 

Light heavyweight: Nil

Super middleweight: 21 April – Cowin Ray beat Andile Mtungwa, rsf 3, Sandton.

1 October – Asemahle Vellem beat Cowin Ray, tko 3, Pretoria.

Middleweight: 29 April – John Bopape beat Nkululeko Mhlongo, ko 11, Bloemfontein. 

31 July – John Bopape beat Snamiso Ntiuli, tko 8, Soweto.                                                                                                                                                     

Junior middleweight: Nil 

Welterweight: Nil     

Junior Welterweight: 8 May – Prince Dlomo beat Siphosethu Mcoteli, pts 12, Booysens. Johannesburg.

Lightweight8 April – Tshifhiwa Munyai beat Aphiwe Mboyiya, pts 12, Middleburg.

                      17 September – Lusanda Kominisi beat Tshifhiwa Munyai, pts 12, Kempton Park.

Junior lightweight: 22 FebruarySibusiso Zingange beat Phila Mpontshane, pts 12, Fourways, Johannesburg.

                                  26 May – Lunga Sitemela beat Sibusiso Zingange, rsf 10, Johannesburg.

                                  18 Nov – Lunga Sitemela beat Khanyile Bulana, ko 4, Cape Town.

Featherweight: 27 Mar – Asanda Ginqi beat Sithembiso Maduna, rsf 11, East London.

                           28 May Asanda Ginqi beat Zolisa Batyi, pts 12, East London.

                           25 Sep – Jeff Magagane beat Asanda Ginqi, pts 12, Turfontein, Johannesburg.

                           2 Dec – Zolisa Batyi beat Jeffrey Magagane, tko 2, Seshego. 

 Junior featherweight: Nil

Bantamweight: July 8 – Ronald Malindi beat Rofhiwa Nemushungwa, pts 12, Middleburg, Mpumalunga.

Junior bantamweight:  9 April – Lwandile Ngxeke beat Athenkosi Dumezweni, rsf 10 (vacant title), Sun City.

18 June – Lwandile Ngxeke beat Lindile Tshemese, tko 4, East London. 

Flyweight: 27 March – Jackson Chauke, draw 12, Phumelela Cafu, East London. 

 22 September – Jackson Chauke beat Sinethemba Kotana, pts 12, Sandton.     

Junior flyweight:  27 March – Mpumelelo Tshabalala beat Xolisa Magusha, rsf 5, East London (vacant title).

29 July – Mpumelelo Tshabalala beat Sikho Moshari, pts 12, East London.

Minimumweight:   21 April – Bangile Nyangani beat Loyiso Ngantweni, pts 12, Sandton.

22 September – Bangile Nyagani beta Gaveni Nkwenteni, pts 12, Sandton. 


South Africa’s Zolani Tete smashed Jason Cunningham to defeat in four rounds to win the Commonwealth and IBF International featherweight titles at the OVO Arena in London on Saturday night 2 July 2022.  Rather sadly it was later reported that this fine fighter had his license suspended by Boxing SA  after failing a dope/drug test in the United Kingdom after his fight against Cunningham.

South Africa’s Siphelele Myeza from KwaZulu-Natal was stopped in the 11th round by Matt Windle of Birmingham, England, in a bout for the vacant Commonwealth light flyweight title at the Premier Banqueting Suite, Burmantofts, in Leeds, England, on Saturday night 8 October 2022.


South African fighters had mixed fortunes in world title fights, but at least we had two new world champions in Sivenathi Nontshinga (IBF light flyweight champion) and Thatho Bonokoane (WBF junior featherweight champion).

Minimumweight: nil

Light flyweight: 3 Sep -Siventahi Nontshinga won pts 12 Hector Flores Calixto (Mexico), Hermosillo, Mexico. (vacant IBF title). 

Flyweight: 29 Sep – Gideon Buthelezi lost ko 1 Dave Apolinario (Philippines), East London, (vacant IBO title).

Junior bantamweight: nil

Bantamweight: nil

Junior featherweight: 9 Oct –Thato Bonokoane won pts 12 Diego Albert Ruiz (Argentina), Gqeberha, (vacant WBF junior featherweight title)

Featherweight: 15 0ct Lerato Dlamini lost pts 12 Jazza Dickens (England), (vacant IBO featherweight title).

Junior lightweight: nil

Cruiserweight: 29 Jan – Thabiso Mchunu lost pts 12 Ilunga Junior Makabu (DRC), Warren, Ohio. (WBC cruiserweight title).

Heavyweight: 3 Dec – Kevin Lerena L tko 3 Daniel Dubois (England), London. (WBA regular heavyweight title).


Les Andresen (2021), Dr, Clive Noble, Sazi Xamlashe, Zolani Marali, Aubrey Rassie Erasmus, Zolani Makhybalo, Simiso Buthelezi, Ndoda Mayende, Mhikiza Myekeni, Siphiwe Pamana, Gillie Buitendag. 

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