CPUT unveil international ring with Mandela Day boxing tourney

CPUT’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Chris Nhlapo with fighter Luyanda Kaite, a third-year construction management and quantity surveyor pupil. Kaite won the opening bout of the Mandela Day Boxing Challenge via a unanimous points decision over UWC’s Lutho Ngaka in the 60kg category, in Bellville. Picture: CPUT Media

Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) unveiled their brand new boxing ring and hosted their very first Mandela Day Boxing Challenge on Mandela Day.

The boxing challenge featured an Olympic-Style tournament, drawing participants from various institutions, including CPUT, the University of the Western Cape (UWC), the Cape Town Metro Open Boxing Organisation (CTMOBO), and the Overberg region. A total of 18 boxers stepped into the ring to compete in nine bouts.

Vice-Chancellor of CPUT, Professor Chris Nhlapo, inaugurated the event with a touching tribute to his uncle, a former professional lightweight and featherweight boxing champion.

Nhlapo expressed his pride in witnessing boxing rise as a formidable sport at the university and highlighted the boxing ring as a platform for camaraderie, self-improvement, and empowerment.

“In celebrating Mandela Day and the launch of this boxing ring, we are reminded that we all have the power to make a difference,” said Professor Nhlapo.

“Whether it is through acts of kindness, social justice advocacy, or the pursuit of personal excellence, every one of us can contribute to creating a better world. Let us use this occasion as a catalyst for change, an opportunity to reflect upon Mandela’s teachings, and apply them in our own lives. May this boxing ring become a symbol of hope, resilience, and unity, inspiring us to break down barriers, challenge ourselves, and fight for a better future,” he said.

CPUT boxing team manager, vice-president of the Western Cape Open Boxing Organisation, and accounting lecturer, Mdingi Mvemve, expressed his gratitude to the university and Cathy Cloete from the local organising committee for organising the event.

Sports development officer, Bulelani Mlakalaka, revealed that the institution is set to host televised boxing events, starting from Friday August 25. He applauded the vice-chancellor for providing the boxing ring and for the Varsity Cup rugby team’s televised games, envisioning a bright future with a boxing premier league, akin to the Varsity Cup in rugby, ready to be marketed for TV rights in 2024.

The inaugural Mandela Day Boxing Challenge left a profound impact on all present, as it showcased the thrilling world of boxing to both enthusiasts and newcomers alike.

As the event coincided with Mandela Day, Nonkosi Tyolwana, the acting dean of students, emphasised the science of boxing that Mandela enjoyed and the significance of serving others.

Ms Tyolwana said CPUT’s first-ever Mandela Day Boxing Challenge marks the beginning of a promising journey towards further elevating the sport of boxing, inspiring unity, and fostering a sense of community within the university and beyond.

Sports development officer, Bulelani Mlakalaka was one of the speakers that welcomed the boxing tournament and the new international ring at CPUT. Picture: Kamohelo Sibande.
Victory for CPUT’s Luyanda Kaite after a thrilling 60kg bout against UWC’s Lutho Ngaka on Mandela Day. Kaite won the first bout of the Mandela Day Boxing Challenge, hosted by the institution, in commemoration of the late president of South Africa. CPUT also received a new international ring that already has a national title fight lined up for the end of the month, in Bellville. Picture: Lauren Kansley