Push comes to shove. The effects of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic have taken a toll on celebrated South Africa-based female boxer Ellen ‘The Tigress’ Simwaka who has now turned to selling fat cakes.
The former World Boxing Federation (WBF) international bantamweight champion opened up on her struggles to sowetan.live.co.za.
She was quoted as having said that she has found herself in such a predicament due to the lockdown in the face of the Covid-19 situation.
Simwaka also told the publication that she is also struggling to provide for her six- year-old daughter.
“Her landlord has been kind enough by reducing her rent by half,” reads part of the report.
And in an interview from Johannesburg yesterday, the boxer confirmed that she is struggling to make ends meet.
She said: “The other reason is that I had about two to three of my international title bouts postponed before the lockdown due to various reasons.
“So, it has been really tough, but I am trying to push as neighbours have also been of a big help.”
On why she is not returning home, Simwaka said: “I thought about that, but coming there is also a challenge because of the strict conditions at the borders, but I will find a way.”
However, she said she is still doing her workouts despite her situation.
The Sowetan also reported that Simwaka’s uncle has reached out to her offering a ticket to travel back home.
Simwaka hogged the limelight in July 2018 when she won the WBF international bantamweight title.
Malawi Professional Boxing Control Board (MPBCB) president Lonzoe Defector Zimba described Simwaka’s situation as sad and touching.
He said: “It’s very sad that our boxing ambassador finds herself in such an unfortunate situation. We’ll reach out to her to see what we can do.
“Covid-19 has affected many of our boxers because they rely on boxing for a living.”
Another revered South Africa-based Malawian boxer Isaac ‘Golden Boy’ Chilemba also said he will try to reach out to her compatriot.
“As for me, just taking a day at a time. Financially, I’m ok. I do personal training in between fights. Therefore, I have few guys I’m training online.”