South Africa’s unbeaten national junior welterweight champion Hedda “Shredder” Wolmarans takes on Malawi’s Ruth “Black Chocolate” Chisale in the main event of the 15th installment of the ESPN Africa Boxing series in Johannesburg this Thursday, March 24.
Wolmarans (6-0, 4 KOs) and Chisale (11-1, 6 KOs) will vie for the IBF Africa junior welterweight title and what will be their biggest ever payday since they started professional boxing.
Both boxers are so excited to feature in the main event of this ESPN Africa Boxing card.
“I’m very grateful to fight on an ESPN card for a continental title,” said the southpaw Wolmarans.
Chisale agreed. “I appeal to my fellow Malawians to subscribe to the ESPN channel on your television sets to watch me live in action from Johannesburg,” said the 24-year-old from Mangochi along the beautiful Lake Malawi.
“l’m so proud of what ESPN is doing in promoting pro boxing in Africa. l’m excited to fight for an African title and l can’t complain on the purse. It’s my first time to earn such a good amount of money in pro boxing.”
Chisale is coming off a unanimous points victory over Tanzania’s Grace Mwakamele last December in Dar es Salaam where she won the WBF international welterweight belt.
“I was not happy with my performance because l had been inactive for over two years concentrating on my job at Malawi Defense Forces,” said Chisale. “For this one, l’ve prepared very well.”
Chisale is not bothered by the underdog tag she’s carrying against the fancied South African southpaw boxer known for her airtight guard.
“Her guard may be tight but she should know even thieves manage to steal in banks where security is tighter than her guard,” she declared.
“She’s a good boxer, that l know, and being a skilled southpaw makes my task even harder but southpaws can be beaten. It’s good to fight as the underdog because you fight with less pressure. l have an advantage with more experience and l’ve taken part in more fights than my opponent.”
Chisale’s goal is to let her fists be the judges but is hoping the judges don’t favor the hometown hero in Wolmarans.
“KO’s normally come as a bonus,” Chisale explained. “l don’t train for KOs but it’s my plea to the judges to be fair and honest if the fight lasts the full ten rounds.”
Wolmarans is well aware of the difficult fight against Chisale.
“We know she’s tough and more experienced than me but technically l’m better than her, that’s why l’m the favorite to win the IBF belt,” said Wolmarans.
“Of course, some people will say I have an advantage fighting from home. l’m not sure if that’s an advantage. I guess it takes off the added logistics of travel.”
Wolmarans hopes that with more ESPN Africa boxing shows, her activity will increase. The left has fought only six times since turning pro in 2015.
“There’s not enough activity in women’s pro boxing in South Africa,” said Wolmarans. “Sponsors and promoters are more keen on male pro boxers. That’s why l’m so grateful to ESPN for giving me this opportunity.
“Lack of regular fights has forced us to look for jobs elsewhere to sustain ourselves and fund our training.”
That may not be the case after Thursday night.