On 30 July 2014 three South African Boxers participate in the quarter finals stage of Commonwealth games boxing. This comes as a result of them beating their opponents in the Last 32 and the Last 16 rounds respectively. At the moment Team South Africa is having a 50 percent success rate in the Boxing’s commonwealth games as three boxers were also eliminated. Luvuyo Sizani lost in the last 32, Phathiswa Thingana lost in the last 16 and Paul Schafer lost in the quarter finals. Luvuyo Sizani lost to David Nyika of New Zealand, Paul Schafer lost to Efe Ajaba of Nigeria in the quarter finals and Phathiswa Thingana lost to Ariane Fortin of Canada.
Phathiswa Thingana made history by becoming the first South African female Boxer to compete in the Commonwealth games. In this year’s edition of the Common wealth games South Africa had six boxers, five male boxers and one female. Unfortunately the female boxer got eliminated on her first fight of the last 16 round.
All three members that remain in competition come from “The Mecca” of South African Boxing, East London. The members of team South Africa that remain in the race for gold are the following;
Bantamweight: Ayabonga Sonjica.
This is the star player of team South Africa and one of the longest serving members of team South Africa together with Simphiwe Lusizi. He is just aged 23 and is looking ahead to winning his first commonwealth games Gold. Sonjica has been representing team South Africa since 2010 and his highest honours were the AIBA World championships. After Sonjica beat M Wanninarach of Sri Lanka in the last 16 round he now faces Sean Mcgoldrick of Wales in the quarter finals. Ayabonga Sonjica’s opponent lost in the finals of Delhi 2010 to the boxer that Sonjica pummelled in the last 16.
Welterweight: Thulani Mbenge
If Thulani Mbenge is not the biggest revelation of the tournament he will stand in line for the category of the best boxer of the tournament. He beat H Tyrel in the last 32 and O Okwiri in the last 16. Both boxers were from Samoa and Kenya respectively and both lost 3 – 0 to Thulani. In the Quarter finals Thulani faces Eon Bancroft of Guyana. Bancroft only beat M Pathirage of Sri Lanka by a split decision. At Age 23 Mbenge seems to possess the star quality that team South Africa needs to win a gold medal in the boxing event.
Middleweight: Simphiwe Lusizi
At the age of 25 Simphiwe Lusizi is the most decorated and experienced member of the team and he faces a tough challenge in Connor Coyle of Northern Ireland. Lusizi has been a member of team South Africa since 2009 and in the six years he has represented South Africa in various tournaments including Olympics. Mbenge’s opponent has brushed aside two opponents in convincing victories while the South African won a TKO in his last match. His second round knockout win was a message to his division’s participants. Lusizi holds the South African hopes for the next Olympics and he takes the commonwealth games as his stepping stone. Lusizi is participating in the commonwealth games for the second time and the less said about his previous campaign the better.
A win for all three boxers will at least guarantee South Africa Bronze medals and more if they go through. In Rio 2015 team South Africa will also rely on these boxers as they might qualify for the next Olympic Games.