The 13th of July will see Hyde’s Stacey Copeland travelling to more exotic climes as she takes on Mapule Ngubane in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare. The two will be competing for the vacant women’s Commonwealth Super Welterweight Title.
The Kalakoda Promotions show is a rare instance of British fighters travelling to compete in Africa. The show is billed as a UK versus Africa card and represents a distinct change of scenery for headliner, Copeland, whose previous four fights have all taken place at the Bowlers Exhibition Centre in Manchester.
As of yet Copeland is unbeaten at 4-0, with two of those wins coming by stoppage. She’s only fought 11 rounds in the professional ring though while her opponent, Ngubane, 7-5-3 (1), has fought 105 rounds in the paid code. Ngubane has experience on her side then, and video records of her fights are a little sparse, leaving team Copeland little to analyse.
What scarce evidence there is though, indicates that Ngubane won’t have quite the same athleticism and technical knowhow as her British opponent. Copeland’s amateur pedigree includes a silver medal at the 2014 Women’s Amateur Boxing Championships in Romania and that experience will go some way to countering Ngubane’s longer stint in the pro ranks.
The one remaining question mark over Copeland may be her age. She made her pro debut last year and is 36 years old. The strategy of launching straight into a title fight in her fifth bout seems justified as a result. Her opponent is eight years her junior but seems to lack the technical polish that Copeland’s amateur career has given her.
A slightly ropey promo video of Ngubane was released this week but will hold no fear for Stacey Copeland. The signs seem to point towards a victory for the Lancastrian but don’t be surprised if Ngubane’s professional experience forces Copeland to go the distance.
Copeland’s domestic rival, #TeamSouthpawJab member Hannah Rankin, 5-1 (1), recently claimed the vacant WBC Silver Female Middleweight Title. The two have been linked consistently and, should Copeland win, it would be great to see them face off with two belts on the line.