South Africa

Nonina, Graf set for WBF title rematch

2017-04-09 06:01
CHAMP: Bukiwe Nonina will meet Alesia Graf in a WBF bantamweight title rematch. (Tebogo Lesie)

Johannesburg - Newly crowned World Boxing Federation (WBF) female bantamweight champion Bukiwe “Anaconda” ­Nonina takes her conquest so ­seriously that she has agreed to meet Alesia “Tigress” Graf in a ­voluntary title rematch in Germany.

Nonina beat the German by a unanimous points ­decision at their vacant title championship bout at ­Oliver Tambo Sport Centre in Khayelitsha in the Western Cape last Friday.

The win made Nonina the first boxer from Dutywa, Eastern Cape, to win a world title.

Putting title at stake

Before the bout against Stuttgart-based Graf, Nonina held the South African title, which she defended ­successfully five times. She relinquished it after ­ascending the WBF throne.

“Graf’s camp have asked us for the fight to be held in the challenger’s home country. We’ve agreed to ­travel to Germany to defend there. No date has been set yet,” said Nonina.

Anaconda said that, as a titleholder, she is well aware of the risk she will be taking by putting her title at stake.

“I’m in such great shape that I’m confident I’ll make five successful defences of the world title, just like I did with the South African title. I’m prepared to fight anywhere.”

Nonina said she gave up her national belt to allow contenders Melissa Miller and Simangele Hadebe a chance to wrestle for it.

“I feel I cannot hold the national title forever. I need to give other boxers in the division a chance to fight for the vacant crown while I focus on the bigger picture, which is the world title,” Nonina said.

Continue backing

WBF president Howard Goldberg said the rematch would probably take place in Stuttgart in Germany.

“We are looking into the possibility of that voluntary fight taking place in August. The mandatory title fight will take place some time in October,” said Goldberg.

Nonina’s trainer and manager, Emmanuel Mutavhatsindi, said the return fight would be staged in Germany because a German television network and a luxury car manufacturer there would sponsor the bout.

“The two sponsored the first fight and will continue their backing of the second match. We are currently negotiating for a local sponsor for Bukiwe for that bout. Nothing has been finalised yet,” said Mutavhatsindi.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  boxing
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