Mkandla shines at ESPN Africa Boxing 20

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Zimbabwe's Monica Mkandla celebrates after her unanimous points decision win against Nomusa Ngema. CREDIT ESPN Africa

Zimbabwe’s Monica Mkandla scored the biggest win of her professional career defeating South Africa’s Nomusa Ngema in their international Bantamweight fight at the ESPN Africa Boxing 20 at The Galleria in the north of Johannesburg on Thursday.

The Bulawayo-based super-bantamweight fighter (2-0-0) secured a majority decision (38-38, 39-37, 39-37) against Ngema (1-1-0) during the four-round contest.

Mkandla threw more combinations and landed the more telling blows to pick up her second professional victory while Ngema suffered her first loss.

Monica Mkandla lands a puch during her bout in South Africa on Thursday

Mkandla only turned professional early this month when she secured a victory on her pro debut against Sasha Mlambo of Malawi during the Charles Manyuchi Academy boxing tourney in Chivhu.

On Thursday, Mkandla’s bout was one of the undercards for ESPN Africa Boxing 20 which was an all-female affair in recognition of Women’s Month in South Africa.

Another female Zimbabwean boxer Patience Mastara was also on the main card as she squared off against South Africa’s Matshidiso Mokebisi in the fourth bout on the main card.

Patience Masitara (right) failed to answer the bell to the seventh round in her international Junior Featherweight contest against South Africa’s Matshidiso Mokebisi

It was however not a fruitful evening for Mastara (5-8-4) after failed to answer the bell to the seventh round in her international Junior Featherweight contest against South Africa’s Matshidiso Mokebisi (16-10-1).

The fight started slowly with both boxers feeling each other out, but the contest sprang into life in the third round with two knockdowns. First, a left hook from Mastara sent the South African to the canvas, but she quickly got back up.

Mokebisi then delivered a devasting straight left to send the Zimbabwean to the floor, but she too got back to her feet.

The following rounds saw Mokebisi take the fight by the scruff of the neck as she started landing numerous heavy shots, which in the end saw the Zimbabwean unable to continue.

In the main bout of the evening, South Africa’s Smangele Hadebe retained her title as the ABU Flyweight champion after Tanzania’s Stumai Muki retired injured ahead of round four at ESPN Africa Boxing 20.

The co-main bout saw Malawi’s Ellen Simwaka (11-5-2) successfully defend her IBF African Bantamweight title after beating Zambia’s Lina Kasweka (6-1-0) via majority decision (93-96, 97-93, 96-93) over ten rounds.

 

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