Shot in the arm for women’s boxing

CPUT boxers, from left, Lebo Nxele, Likho Nxele and Lisakhanya Mcosana took part in the opening bouts of last Friday’s event. Picture: Lonwabo Marele

Cape Peninsula University of Technology’s Lisakhanya Mcosana says boxing has taken her to places she had only ever read about.

A 21-year-old mathematical sciences fourth-year student from Kraaifontein, Mcosana is a member of the university’s boxing team that took part in the international games held in Turkey last year.

“It was amazing to be in another country. Like we read about these places. The boxing there was different and we learned a lot,” said Mcosana.

The orthodox fighter recalls how she started fighting in 2021: it was by luck. CPUT were searching for young boxers to join their University Sports South Africa (USSA) touring team.

Mcosana went to the multi-purpose hall where she met a team of other young boxers from all over the country. She said ever since she walked into that gym, she has fallen in love with the sweet science of boxing.

“CPUT were going to the USSA Games so I started like that. I started at a higher weight division. We went to the finals and started winning from there. We then went to the knockouts at the districts where we won and we were chosen to be a part of the Western Cape team that went to Gqeberha. Earlier this year we had a tough time at nationals in Limpopo — we went out in the semi-finals,” she said.

Last Friday, Mcosana, alongside her fellow teammates, Likho Nxele from Kuyasa and Lebo Nxele from KwaMashu, opened the fighting card at Insane Boxing Promotions’ South African featherweight title defence between Zolisa Batyi and Abdul-Aziz Kunert, at CPUT in Bellville. Mcosana won in the 60kg division.

Former provincial champion and third-year education student, Likho is among the team of promising boxers.

While commuting on a taxi from campus on Monday afternoon, amid the noise of hooting and traffic, the Kuyasa boxer said, over the phone, boxing had been good to her from the moment she first stepped into the ring.

She has had to opportunity to represent her community, school and country at regional, provincial and national games in the space of three years.

Her growth in the sport is evident in her accolades, which includes representing the green and gold in Europe and winning a silver medal in Lesotho.

Former SA team boxer and head coach at CPUT, Sivuyile Ngwevela said he and his assistant coach, Sinethemba Madikazi, were encouraged by the motivation their boxers received from the televised 12-round fight between Batyi and Kunert.

“The tournament was very exciting and encouraging for the boxers to become professional. Most of my boxers were there,” he said.

CPUT and UWC will host the USSA Games in December this year. Coach Ngwevela made it clear, they are gunning for all the top honours.

“We look forward to the USSA Games. Last year we were number two… When the boxers left after last Friday’s big event, they left saying they are excited to practise on Monday what they learned on Friday… We will become number one,” said Ngwevela.