An intense battle unfolded at the Clash of The Titans – Tribute to Basil Brice nine-bout showcase, promoted by Jackie Brice Boxing Promotions, at Vibrant Sports in Ottery, on Saturday night.
Headliner, fighting out of 9SAI Boxing Gym in Khayelitsha, Simamkele Tutsheni, the reigning, defending and unbeaten female bantamweight champion of the Western Cape, stepped into the ring to welcome her international opponent.
On the far right, a warrior beginning to etch her name in the history books of the fighting sport, Adidya Mimu, from Lilongwe, Malawi, brought her A-game to battle.
It was four rounds of good boxing, sheer will, technical skill, mind games and motivation from the corners that excited the supporters at Vibrant Sports in the tournament to commemorate the late Basil Brice, a Boxing South Africa (BSA) Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, who passed away recently at the age of 90.
In the opening three rounds, Tutsheni was the more athletic boxer, using her width to move around the ring, as well as delivering well-timed one-two combination punches to keep her shorter opponent at bay.
It took Mimu until late in round three and majority of round four to get warm and into the fight. At some point her power shots seemed as if they would trouble Tutsheni.
Mimu has earned her name with three victories and a loss heading into the match. She was coming in full force at Tutsheni.
Recognising she was ahead on points, the provincial champion strategically boxed to land hits while avoiding getting hit herself or tiring out. This approach paid off for her in the end. Tutsheni won the fight on points, making it five wins and a knockout in her record.
The two fighters received a standing ovation and a note of gratitude from the Boxing SA provincial manager, Mzoli Tempi, who encouraged Jackie Brice to bring the young fighter from Malawi, Mimu back to South Africa again soon.
Meanwhile, in the supporting bout, Khaya Mlata made light work of Nasiphi Mdlangazi, from Mdantsane, with a knockout in the first round of his catchweight professional debut.
In the junior lightweight division, Sikelela “Six” Xatasi brought out the community of Fish Hoek with songs and praises. It proved to be well worth it as he technically-knocked out his opponent, Luvuyo Mvula, from Khayelitsha.
In his youthful years, Basil Brice trained as a professional boxer at Booysens Boxing Club in Johannesburg. In Cape Town he went from being a professional boxer to a renowned coach in the late 90s and early 2000s.
He was known for taking children out of the streets and coaching them. In the early 70s, he was one of the pioneers to introduce boxing as a catalyst for change at Robben Island.
In 1966, Jackie Brice says, his father was his trainer as a young professional. Jackie represented the Western Province, Natal, Namibia and SA in 1976 in Goodwood, before exchanging his fighting gloves for his coaching gloves.
Five years ago, Jackie became a promoter.
The Clash of The Titans – Tribute to Basil Brice was sanctioned by BSA.