Boxing. A sport marvelled by millions for its intensity, passion, and excitement.
It was this passion that led to an encounter between Mike Dube, a KZN boxing promoter and Delayne Gray, Managing Director of SBS Tanks. Dube was looking for a way to use boxing to raise funds for a water tank to be used in a rural community. After being approached by Dube with the idea, Gray expressed his interest in getting involved – with the long term goal of the SBS Group supporting the local sporting community, and using sport as a tool for upliftment. Only a week later, Dube returned with an impressive proposal, showing his commitment to the initiative and setting the plan in motion.
“This is our first attempt at sponsorship and getting behind a sport. Big sport has got a lot of people behind it, big names, a lot of money… but there are other sports, marginalised sports, that don’t have a voice – the necessary sponsorship and people behind them, and SBS wants to support the voice of KZN Boxing” says Gray.
Armed with a strong team, and supported by some of the best in the boxing fraternity, SBS Tanks launched the ‘Fight for Water’ initiative on Saturday the 9th of December. The kick-off event consisted of 7 fights taking place over the course of the evening, and was fully sanctioned by SA Boxing. Their presence at the event was invaluable – with officials, judges, doctors, and a full team of medics on site to ensure that the fights were all done by the book.
Ring announcer Darren Maule led us into the evening as the first bout, the Bantamweight Exhibition, began – setting the tone for what was to come. The fights that followed ranged across divisions, and even featured a couple of debut fights.
These fights were arguably some of the most exciting, with fighters giving their absolute all as guests caught a first look at their abilities.
The support within the arena was prevalent, with all contenders being led into the ring with a full entourage in tow. Flags, T-Shirts, and even a few screaming ladies – especially in the case of Chatsworth’s own Marc Subramoney. Marc took on Akeem Tijani from Nigeria in a Heavyweight bout, and won by TKO. There was even boxing royalty present. Francois ‘The White Buffalo’ Botha, a former professional boxer who faced boxing greats like Mike Tyson & Lennox Lewis, joined us to support his son, Middleweight Marcel Botha. Marcel went on to win his match against Mpumalanga’s Ntobeko Makeleni.
By the time the main card event came around, the thrill was palpable, with everyone waiting to see who would be the successor in the eliminator fight for the vacant SA Super Middleweight Title. After 8 rounds of exemplary boxing between KZN’s Christopher Buthelezi and Eastern Cape’s Masixole Botile, the judges could not reach a unanimous decision, and the fight concluded in a draw. With Buthelezi having fought a number of professional fights, this result was testament to the level of boxing on show.
“This is the first time that we have gotten involved in boxing. It has been an incredible eye-opener for us. The amount of work that goes into putting something like this together… I am amazed by how SA Boxing does this, and most of the time at their own expense!” said SBS Tanks Marketing Manager, James Preston.
Above the involvement of Dube, and SA Boxing – the support of the community was paramount to the success of this event. “Boxers put their heart and their soul into this sport, and sometimes cannot even afford the plane ticket to get to their fight(s). This evening, I would like you all to understand that you being here is helping us to support the men and women putting all they have into this sport.” said Gray, during the event. With the continued support of SA Boxing, the community, and the boxing fraternity – this may just be the start of getting South African boxing the support and recognition it deserves.
Watch the live feed from the event, and check the final results below.
FIGHT FOR WATER RESULTS:
SUPERMIDDLEWEIGHT over EIGHT ROUNDS
CHRISTOPHER BUTHELEZI (LAMONT) draw VS MASIXOLE BOTILE
HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE – SIX (6.) ROUNDS
MARC SUBRAMONEY (CHATSWORTH) WON TKO 2 AKEEM TIJANI
MIDDLEWEIGHT -SIX (6.) ROUNDS
MARCEL BOTHA (DBN) WON KO 2 NTOBEKO MAKELENI
FLYWEIGHT OVER FOUR (4.) ROUNDS
MUSA MJWARHA WON PTS 4 NJABULO MKHWANAZI
LIGHTWEIGHT OVER FOUR ROUNDS
SWAIB GEORGE BUKENYA WON KO1 NQOBILE MZOBE
LIGHTWEIGHT OVER FOUR ROUNDS
SIFUNDO JACOBS WON TKO2 MSIZI NTULI