Close on 2 000 viewers logged in on Far North Bulletin’s Facebook page to watch the boxing in the comfort of their homes on Saturday afternoon when Champs Boxing Academy Tzaneen hosted the very first of its kind tournament at the Showgrounds this past weekend.

It was a resounding success with 320 spectators passing through the gates to enjoy an entire day’s worth of top-class bouts, good food and great company.

In total, the local club hosted 45 bouts on the day with a portion of the 90 fighters being from the Limpopo Provincial boxing team which ensured some nail-biting action in the elite boxing category later that evening.

The day’s fights started at 13:30 with the juniors taking centre stage after which the female fighters took the show into the senior division where the elites went toe-to-toe.

There were some notables in attendance on the day which bode very well for Tzaneen as a regular host of provincial and even national tournaments in the future.

Included among the big names in the sport were Sanny Chuma, the President of Limpopo Boxing (Limbo), Mr Shiluvana from the Academy of Sports as one of the officials, Mr Mathonsi who is widely regarded as the father of Limpopo boxing and Mr Cassius Baloyi Snr, the father of former South African boxing legend Cassius Baloyi who wore the IBF super featherweight title twice between 2006 and 2009.

Tzaneen’s fighters stood up to the challenge with all of Tzaneen’s Elite boxers winning their bouts in spectacular fashion. Juan-Marie Pretorius faced Gift Chauke, the current Limpopo Female Heavyweight champion for the second time this year and again, won her fight in the third round.

The first time these two met, Pretorius won in the opening round, which showed some improvement in Chauke’s preparation for the bout.

The shortest fight of the tournament was served by Tzaneen’s heavyweight powerhouse Juan Grobler. It took him just 13 seconds to end Samuel Masha’s stint in the ring when he delivered two jabs and a left hook to the body to stop Masha from even leaving his corner. Grobler said after the fight that he was not aware it was over until the referee stepped in and called it.

Adam Kader had the crowd roaring when he delivered one of the most exciting fights of the evening as he stepped into the ring against a more experienced Tshepiso Chauke. Kader’s relentless volleys proved too much for Chauke who was knocked down twice before Kader pinned him to the ropes in the second round and the fight was stopped.

One of coach Gerhard Rossouw’s most promising young fighters, Daniel Letsie, took complete control of his fight against Tshepo Mapodile when he sent his opponent to the floor also in the second to win his bout with a deserving KO.

Ruan Hanaczeck-Kruger, the local South African swimming sensation stepped into the ring for only the third time in his career, and took Terrance Magagula to within 15 seconds of the end of round one before he pummelled him into the bottom rope. The fight was over with seconds to spare after Magagula’s corner threw in the towel.

The last fight of the evening was a middleweight bout everyone was waiting for when Daniel Rossouw, in his fourth fight of his career, met the team Limpopo’s Zwonaka Nemudzivhadi in a tournament closer.

The crowds lifted the roof off the Showgrounds hall from the start of the bout when Rossouw narrowly escaped one of Zwonaka’s notorious right hooks which had in the past earned him a number of knockouts. Shaken, but not perturbed, Rossouw took the fight to his opponent and eventually won the fight in the second round after Nemudzivhadi’s corner threw in the towel.

“We had a better than expected turnout for this tournament and we are very pleased to say that the feedback from Limbo and all the coaches and clubs present was tremendously positive. We had no incidents on the night and every fighter had the opportunity to display their hardwork and preparation before a massive crowd of appreciative boxing fans,” said coach Gerhard Rossouw in an interview after the tournament.

“None of this could have been possible without our sponsors and our media partners and of course the community who supported us from start to finish. We look forward to our next tournament later this year and we invite anyone who wishes to improve their fitness, to come and join us at Champs Boxing Academy for our amazing Boxercise program.”

The sponsors on the day were Cloud Mountain Spur, Rattlers, Serala Veterinary Clinic, HC Klinkert Boerdery, Van Veijeren Boerdery, Northern Security, Smit en Kie, Bricks@Tzaneen, Rotec Engineering, AB van der Westhuizen, Large Workwear and Security, Rymar Auto, Paint Pot, Bakgalaka, Frogfoot, KM Bolt, NTT Toyota, Du Roi Nursery and Far North Bulletin.

For more images and to watch the fights that were streamed on the day, visit Far North Bulletin’s Facebook page and click like and follow.