Sunday, March 3, 2024

Steven Bagwasi punches his way to the WBA Pan Africa title challenge

Local boxer Steven Bagwasi beat Rafael Lita of Namibia by a Technical Knockout (TKO) on the fifth round of their bout to underline his bona fides as a challenger for the WBA Pan Africa Lightweight.

In a skewed six (6) round bout, the 23 year old Bagwasi toyed with his much experienced opponent for the entire duration of the bout and was much ahead on points when the referee stopped Lita’s suffering just 20 seconds before the end of the fifth round.

The win moved Bagwasi,- who has won all his three (3) professional bouts – a step closer to challenging for the title held by South Africa’s Ayanda Nkosi.

“Winning this match against Lita has been my greatest opportunity, it has pushed me closer to the title belt early next year,” Bagwasi said.

Speaking in a post match interview, ‘Small,’ as Bagwasi is affectionately known, said while he is still relatively inexperienced in the professional ranks, he is ready to battle it out for the title.

He said having watched Nkosi when he won the then vacant WBA Pan Africa Lightweight title against Jeffery Magagane in October this year, he is confident he can win the belt. “I am super ready for the title belt,” he noted.

The sentiments were shared by Bagwasi’s coach, Thuso Khubamang who said by next year, the young Bagwasi will have the title around his waist.

“‘Small’ has performed really well and the good part is that now we can challenge for the title belt which is in the hands of the South African. We are certainly ready to take him on,” he said.

An optimistic Khubamang said given young Bagwasi’s talent, he is confident Nkosi will be a pushover.

“What I can say is that I believe that we will have a shot at the title fight and by February, we will have won the title belt,” he said.

In other bouts involving Batswana boxers, a defiant showing by local pro boxing newcomer Moabi Ngaka was not enough as he lost to an experienced Sfiso Hlongwane in a four rounds International Lightweight contest.

In the Super Featherweight contest, Kutlwano Ogaketse beat compatriot Onkarabile Mothibedi by a unanimous points’ decision to extend his winning streak to three out of three fights while Mothibedi succumbed to his first loss in three fights.

The opening contest of the day saw Botswana’s own Tshepo Babui beat South Africa’s Nyiko Ndukula in the international Featherweight contest.

Khubamang said in an interview that the boys did well even great as they earned a chance to challenge for the title belt next year February.

Meanwhile, in the day’s main bout, South Africa’s Rofhiwa Maemu retained his WBA Pan African Featherweight title after beating Tanzania’s Fhadili Majiha in the 12 round scheduled bout.

Despite winning by a unanimous decision, Rofhiwa, who was making his second defence of the title he won in Botswana October this year, he had to throw in his all against a determined Majiha.


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