Inaugural Mandela African Boxing Cup crowns 25 champions in Durban

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Durban, South Africa – The inaugural Mandela African Boxing Cup saw a multitude of nations stand atop the podium at the International Convention Centre in Durban, South Africa – celebrating the legacy of the great leader, Nelson Mandela.

In one of the best bouts of the day, the Commonwealth Games silver medallist Louis Richarno Colin from Mauritius put the hard work in early, despite strong opposition from South Africa’s John Paul Masamba. In the final round, believing he had done enough to claim victory, Colin was proficient in evading the South African before being deemed the victor unanimously at 63.5kg. His teammate Fabrice Valerie from Mauritius would defeat Miguel Kembo of Angola in the men’s 51kg.

There were mixed fortunes for Mozambique’s world medallists Alcinda dos Santos and Rady Gramane. Dos Santos triumphed in the women’s 70kg final – dominating her opponent Temalangeni Dlamini from Eswatini. After two referee’s counts, a third knockdown called the match off after just two minutes. Gramane would lose the women’s 75kg to Kenyan Elizabeth Andiego on a split decision.

Another Mozambique win came for Armando Siguaque in the men’s 57kg, beating South African Amzolele Dyeyi. Dyeyi showed resilience to survive the bout., but he was dominated by his opponent.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo secured the most golds of the day with 10.

Right from the off, Benedicte Diyoka won the opening match, the men’s 48kg in quick fashion when his opponent Dila Vuyolwethu of South Africa suffered an injury; this was soon followed by a women’s 52kg win for Gisele Nyembo Muamba who defeated Veliswa Magaya of Eswatini by TKO in the first round.

Mbiya Kulenguluka was victorious in the men’s 71kg in a close encounter with Tiago Muxanga from Mozambique. Both thought they came out on top, but the nod was given to the Congolese athlete in the blue corner. Although crestfallen, Muxanga showed great sportsmanship post-verdict. This was then followed by a win for Kulenguluka’s compatriot Peter Pita Kabeji over Yusuf Changalawe of Tanzania in the men’s 80kg.

Other Congolese champions were Jorbelle Malewu (women’s +81kg), Bweluzey Anthony Lazare (men’s +92kg), Marie Joel Mwika (women’s 81kg), Brigitte Mbabi (women’s 66kg), Merveille Mbalayi Mbamba (women’s 63kg) and Marcelat Sakobi Matshu (women’s 57kg).

Smaller boxing nations excelled too – Mouandat Njinnou from Gabon won the men’s 92kg final over Hoosein Isaacs of South Africa, via referee’s stoppage in the second round; while Retselisitsoe Kolobe from Lesotho defeated Botswana’s Kobamelo Molatlhegi in the men’s 48kg contest; and Joshua Cousin won in the second round of the men’s 75kg against Temesgen Mitiku of Ethiopia by referee’s stoppage.

The Mandela African Boxing Cup also saw victories for Botswana, Egypt, Tunisia, Angola, Namibia and Bangladesh.

IBA Secretary General and CEO Chris Roberts OBE and Ms Ndileka Mandela, the first grandchild of Nelson Mandela and CEO & Founder of Thembekile Mandela Foundation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the entities.

Mr Roberts OBE stressed that Nelson Mandela’s legacy continues through boxing. Ms Mandela added that ‘it means a lot for the Foundation, as we can extend the cooperation with the international organizations.’

The Memorandum of Understanding is designed in a way where the objectives, scope, extent, thematic areas of focus, and modalities for cooperation between the Thembekile Mandela Foundation and the IBA are clearly defined to use this important opportunity.

The parties agreed:

To develop joint initiatives that use boxing as a tool for social impact and community development, and promote inclusivity and diversity within the boxing community.
Organize boxing events or tournaments to raise funds for charitable causes supported by the Thembekile Mandela Foundation.
To provide opportunities for youth to engage in boxing as a means of empowerment, discipline, and skill development.
To establish educational programs combining academic support with boxing training, creating holistic development opportunities for youth.
To organize workshops and seminars focusing on life skills, leadership, and career development within the context of boxing.

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