Is there a place for women in the boxing ring? - CNBC Africa

Is there a place for women in the boxing ring?

Southern Africa

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South African female boxing continues to struggle with sponsorship. PHOTO: fightcluboc

“The sport is fairly new it started in 2001 so there is less sponsorship coming through. If you find boxing matches between females normally they are curtain raisers, they don’t get the main games,” said Thobile Hans, a Forbes Africa reporter.

The lack of sponsorship and matches for female boxers has also had major implications on their salaries. But the issue of money is an issue across the country and the sport in its entirety.

“It is true that the male boxers are getting more than the female boxers. But in general boxing is not making good money in South Arica,” said Hans.


The issue about whether or not female boxers should be fighting comes after the death of South African female boxer Phindile Mwelase. Mwelase passed away after being in a coma for two weeks which happed during a match with Liz Butler in October.

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Hans said that there were no faults with the organization of the match and both women were experienced in the ring. Mwelase’s death was an accident.

 “It’s not a question of matching up boxers that are not supposed to be together in the first place. Both of the boxers had experience.”

Mwelase was said to be paid next to nothing for the fight but many speculate that it was between four and seven thousand rand.

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“That’s still not enough money. In boxing because you don’t normally get the games on a monthly basis so a boxer may get a match maybe after a year. So you’re sitting there without money there broke and frustrated,” added Hans.

Hans says that at the end of the day female boxers in the country don’t fight for the money, they fight because they are passionate about the sport.