Local boxers shine in South Africa

Steven Bagwasi (right) lands a jab on South African boxer, Koos Sibiya.
Steven Bagwasi (right) lands a jab on South African boxer, Koos Sibiya.

Local professional boxers, Steven ‘Small’ Bagwasi and Kutlwano ‘Elchino’ Ogaketse had a good day in the ring on Thursday during the ESPN Africa Boxing series that was held in Johannesburg at night.

The two boxers stepped into the ring as under dogs against South Africans. The local lads went into the ring without decorated backgrounds which could have prompted their opponents to undermine them. Ogaketse proved that he was a force to reckon with when he won by an unanimous decision against Prince Ndlovu.

The two boxers were battling it out on an eight round match. Ogaketse started off the match with an intention to finish off his opponent quickly. With his power punches, the Drad boxing stable boxer had on many occasions threatened to floor Ndlovu. In the second bout, Bagwasi stood the test of time when he won by a split decision against experienced Koos Sibiya.

The pint sized Bagwasi started off the match on the back-paddle studying his man. Bagwasi went back to show off that he has grown as a boxer. His defense was amazing and he was focused into running away with maximum points. Speaking to Sport Monitor, Ogaketse said he was impressed by his performance. “I feel great. We went to his backyard and took away the shine from him,” he said. Ogaketse said he fought according to the plan as laid down together from his corner. For his part, Bagwasi said beating a seasoned boxer like Sibiya is a huge milestone in his career. “The game plan was to keep calm in the ring and put pressure on him for the first six rounds but I had to change the game plan on the fourth round because my shoulders started getting sore and the plan worked really well for me.

I have learnt that as a professional boxer having experience does not mean someone is really good. It just means they have more fights than me. For me to get to the top I have to beat boxers like him,” Bagwasi said. He also said his next target is a title bout. Drad boxing stable coach, Thebe Setlalekgosi said his boxers were competing in the first bouts of the year and the plan was to go out and do simple basics. He said the opponents were more experienced and he was aware that they would try to box out out his boxers. Setlalekgosi said being underdogs was an advantage. “Our amateur backgrounds always comes to our rescue all the time.

People undermine us and they always get surprised when we win such big fights,” Setlalekgosi said. He explained that the bouts were just the beginning under the flagship of ESPN Africa Boxing series. Setlalekgosi said the most important thing is to impress the organisers in order to get get more invitations.

Editor's Comment
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