Boxing SA 2017 female ring official of the year award winner, Pumeza Zinakile says she misses Muditambi Ravele who did wonders during her three-year term as BSA chairperson. Ravele made sure that women boxers, promoters and officials received attention and opportunities to be involved in high-profile fights, just like their male counterparts.
Ravele offered financial support through government to female promoters staging women-only boxing tournaments aimed at celebrating Women’s Month next month . Tournament supervisors and ring officials would be strictly female.
SA junior-featherweight champion Gabisile Tshabalala became the WBF champion after defeating Unathi Myekeni in Mpumalanga when female promoter Mbali “Don Queen” Zantsi’s Showtime Promotions staged a female-dominated tournament on August 28 2015. But these tournaments ended in 2017 when Ravele’s term expired.
A BSA board headed by Peter Ngatane took over and only one tournament featuring women was staged under his watch in 2019. It was staged by Sbongile Matiti’s Bashy Promotions at Mdantsane Indoor Centre, Eastern Cape, where Noni Tenge retained her WBF junior-middleweight belt on points against Mapule Ngubane.
The new board led by Luthando Jack was appointed in December and board member Zandile Kabini is the chairperson of Women in Boxing. Pressed to comment on women’s boxing, Zinakile reminisced about the good times they had during Ravele’s term of office.
“She made sure that we as women took the limelight in August, which is our month. She would then take us – female ring officials, promoters and boxers – out to a conference where we would talk about problems we encounter in boxing as females. I wish BSA can begin to take women seriously as stakeholders. BSA must remember that we have equal rights as women like men in boxing; we pay the same licence [fees]… as men but we are treated differently. I miss Miss Ravele,” she said.