Wary ‘911’ pushes the right but­tons

CityPress - - Sport - MALIBONGWE BHIDO sports@city­press.co.za

De­spite win­ning the Gaut­eng light­weight ti­tle, Jef­frey “911” Ma­ga­gane is in no hurry to chal­lenge for the na­tional crown.

The newly crowned pro­vin­cial champ gave Michael “Mae­stro” Mokoena from El­do­rado Park his first taste of de­feat when he cap­tured the va­cant ti­tle on a unan­i­mous points de­ci­sion over 10 rounds at the Blair­gowrie Recre­ation Cen­tre a week ago.

The Soweto-based fighter, who is turn­ing 26 to­mor­row, said he still needed two or three con­tests be­fore con­sid­er­ing chas­ing the na­tional crown.

“The light­weight di­vi­sion has tough con­tenders, and I still need to gather more ex­pe­ri­ence be­fore go­ing for the na­tional cham­pi­onship belt,” he said.

“[Mzonke] Fana is de­fend­ing the South African ti­tle this month, and I will have a close look at the con­tenders.”

Ma­ga­gane said that, had he been cam­paign­ing in an­other weight class such as the ju­nior light­weight or ju­nior wel­ter­weight, he would have taken a chance and chal­lenged for a South African crown.

“I don’t want to take chances be­cause the light­weight di­vi­sion is full of tal­ented and strong op­po­nents,” he said.

“I want to get to the top [through] fight­ing. I want peo­ple to know who I am [through] fight­ing. I don’t want to just par­tic­i­pate. I want to do well and I want to win. I just like to get in there and fight.”

His trainer, Alan Toweel, who is from Lin­den, north­west Jo­han­nes­burg, sang the same tune: “I will not rush Ma­ga­gane and [would] rather let him have an­other few fights be­fore chal­leng­ing for a South African ti­tle.

“I’m not pro­tect­ing him, but I don’t want to throw him [in at] the deep end this soon. I will put him there when he is ready. He fought tough op­po­nents most re­cently. I want to per­fect his art just a bit more.”

The lanky prospect, who is un­beaten in six out­ings, said he would chal­lenge for the South African ti­tle only when he has nine fights un­der his belt.

He would like to fight one of the top five con­tenders in his next con­test.

He be­came the first boxer to win a pro­vin­cial belt, which pro­vin­cial champs pre­vi­ously did not have. This is a new Box­ing SA in­no­va­tion.

PHOTO: JAMES B GRADIDGE

SLOWLY BUT SURELY Jef­frey Ma­ga­gane, seen here throw­ing a punch, will take no chances

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