Malawian Ellen ‘Tigress’ Simwaka TKOs South African at ESPN Africa Boxing Fight Night

Simwaka pummeling Tshabalala

By Caroline Nyekanyeka

South Africa-based Malawi Ellen ‘Tigress’ Simwaka produced a spectacular female Junior Featherweight contest when she beat Gabisilie ‘Simply The Best’ Tshabalala via a fourth round technical knockout (TKO) in the ESPN Africa Boxing Fight Night on Thursday.

A report on ESPN website says the Malawian dictated terms from the opening bell as she chased Tshabalala around the ring.

The report says the South African looked scared as Simwaka landed blow-after-blow after blow as Tigress’ showed superior boxing skills with her powerful straight right-hand.

Tigress caused all sorts of problems for Tshabalala, before the referee put an end to her misery midway through the fourth round.

The win is Simwaka’s ninth of her career and sees her fight record standing at 9W-5L-2D while Tshabalala falls to 10W-6L-1D.


Before the fight, Sowetanlive pitted the WBF World Champion Gabisile Tshabalala to carry the day in this ESPN Africa’s first-ever female bout but she got pummeled right from the start until the referee intervened in the 4th round.

Her trainer Elias Mpembe had challenged enthusiasts to watch the bout saying they should “learn and enjoy the fine art behind throwing of punches” only to be disappointed.

“There is just too much at stake. Simwaka has said a lot of things and even promised to do to Gabisile what she has done to other South African boxers who are regarded as being the best,” the 57-year-old Mpembe was quoted as saying by Sowetanlive.

The online described Simwaka as a rugged fighter “whose aggressive style of fighting makes it very difficult for an average thinker to show their potential”.

“She swarmed classy fighter Smangele ‘Smash’ Hadebe with volumes of punches in their fight for the WBF International bantamweight title in 2018.”

The report said Hadebe, who is the 2017-18 BSA Prospect of the Year Award winner, found solace from a referee who stopped the proceedings in the seventh round.

Simwaka is also reported to have pummelled Melissa ‘Honey Bee’ Miller — then South Africa bantamweight champion – in three rounds of their 10 rounds scheduled fight in what was her last appearance in October 2020.

Ellen ‘Tigress’ Simwaka

“Simwaka from Lilongwe has won eight of her 15 fights of which seven were against South Africans in local rings. Fight fans have been waiting with bated breath for this fight, especially after Mpembe and Simwaka’s trainer Junior Assoya exchanged verbal barbs in the exciting build-up for their fight in August last year but Tshabalala tested positive for CoVID-19 and the fight was cancelled.”

The main bout of ESPN Africa Boxing’s debut Fight Night — on at the EFC Training institute in Sandton, Johannesburg saw six bouts that delivered 33 rounds of action and two knockouts, one of which came just 17 seconds into the opening fight of the night.


Botswana’s Steven ‘Small’ Bagwasi won via split decision (96-94, 94-96, 96-95) against South Africa’s Koos ‘The Great Last Warrior’ Sibiya in a 10-round Junior Lightweight contest.

The second bout of the night saw Katlego ‘Black Kat’ Khanyisa register a unanimous decision victory (39-37, 40-37, 39-37) over Clement ‘Doctor’ Pilusa in a four-round Lightweight contest.

The third was Simwaka’s bout with ‘Simply The Best’ Tshabalala and according the ESPN, bout four produced arguably the fight of the night with Sphamandla Manqatha beating Gerard Titus via unanimous decision (58-56, 57-56, 59-58) over six rounds in a Junior Lightweight contest.