LIGHT FLY WEIGHT
Sivenathi Nontshinga, born on December 3, 1998, stands as a South African professional boxer whose remarkable journey has earned him acclaim and championships in the competitive realm of boxing. Notably, he held the IBF light-flyweight world title from September 2022 to November 2023 and the IBF International light-flyweight title from 2019 to 2022.
Raised in Newlands, a “chicken farm community” at the entrance to Mdantsane township in the Eastern Cape, Nontshinga’s roots and determination are deeply intertwined with his upbringing. His father, Thembani Gopheni, serves as both his trainer and handler, adding a familial touch to his boxing career.
Making his professional debut on July 30, 2017, at the age of 18, Nontshinga quickly asserted himself as a rising star. With four consecutive stoppages in his initial fights, he garnered recognition as a promising teen sensation in South Africa. In his fifth pro bout, he secured victory over Tisetso Modisadife, clinching the vacant African light-flyweight title.
The journey continued with a first-round knockout over Adam Yahaya on April 7, 2019, earning him the vacant IBF International light-flyweight title. Notably, he defended his title against Siyabonga Siyo, a fighter he admired from his youth, showcasing his prowess with a ninth-round stoppage.
Despite facing challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nontshinga made a triumphant return to the ring on April 24, 2021. In an IBF title eliminator against Filipino prospect Christian Araneta, Nontshinga emerged victorious, displaying resilience and skill even after a 12th-round knockdown.
Nontshinga’s crowning achievement came when he secured the IBF light-flyweight world title in September 2022, a testament to his dedication and skill in the ring. Holding the belt until November 2023, he left an indelible mark on the global boxing stage.
As the world’s fifth-best active light-flyweight by BoxRec and the seventh-best by the IBF, Sivenathi Nontshinga’s journey continues to captivate boxing enthusiasts, promising more moments of triumph and glory in the competitive world of professional boxing.