Box­ers show de­vo­tion to ail­ing Mn­guni

CityPress - - Sport - PULE MOKHINE pmokhine@city­press.co.za

The Eastern Cape is ex­pected to come to a stand­still on Sun­day when ail­ing boxing trainer Mz­i­masi Mn­guni is hon­oured.

A world ti­tle fight to be held at Ori­ent The­atre, East Lon­don, will be ded­i­cated to him.

Top­ping the Su­perS­port and Golden Gloves five-bout bill, dubbed The Trib­ute, will be the In­ter­na­tional Boxing Or­gan­i­sa­tion (IBO) strawweight cham­pi­onship be­tween cham­pion Simphiwe “Chain Re­ac­tion” Khonco and chal­lenger Nkosi­nathi “Mab­here” Joyi.

Both these boxing icons are from the same province, Eastern Cape.

Mn­guni (67), ar­guably the coun­try’s first black trainer to pro­duce many world boxing cham­pi­ons in the province, is fight­ing for his life at his East Lon­don home. He was in­volved in a car ac­ci­dent in 2013 and has not been well since.

Among the pugilists Mn­guni steered to world glory are Wel­come “The Hawk” Ncita and Vuyani “The Beast” Bungu, both of whom won In­ter­na­tional Boxing Fed­er­a­tion (IBF) ju­nior feath­er­weight ti­tles, and Mbulelo Botile, who be­came the IBF ban­tamweight ti­tle holder.

This feat brought the Eyethu Boxing men­tor na­tional and in­ter­na­tional ac­claim as the pro­ducer of great boxing tal­ent.

The or­gan­is­ers have de­cided to stage a show­down, with pro­ceeds to be do­nated to his fam­ily. The fight­ers said they would get into the ring for the sake of the man af­fec­tion­ately known as Bra Mzi.

Khonco’s ti­tle will be at stake. The 30-year-old Mthatha cham­pion won the then-va­cant crown af­ter beat­ing Siyabonga Siyo by a unan­i­mous de­ci­sion at Em­per­ors Palace, Kemp­ton Park, in June.

Chain Re­ac­tion comes into the ring with a fight record of 16 wins and five de­feats from 21 fights.

“This fight means a lot to me and I need to win it for the great man, Bra Mzi him­self,” said the con­fi­dent Siyo. “I have trained hard and will knock out Mab­here.” Mab­here (33), who hails from Mdantsane, is an ex­pe­ri­enced cam­paigner, hav­ing won 26 times, with four de­feats from 30 out­ings.

He said he was de­ter­mined to de­pose the cham­pion in hon­our of Mn­guni.

“Mr Mn­guni, who comes from the same town­ship as me, in­spired me to be­come a boxer,” Joyi said.

“I owe it to him to win the crown from Khonco, who won’t last the full 12 rounds.” He pre­vi­ously held the IBF and IBO di­adems. In an­other bout, Lee Dyer and Gio­vanni Bushby will slug it out for the African Boxing Union su­per mid­dleweight cham­pi­onship.

The third con­test will be the Eastern Cape feath­er­weight match-up be­tween Lwandile Zinto and Aphiwe Masang­wana. Two other non-ti­tle fights are yet to be an­nounced.

Ticket prices for the show­down cost R100 each for un­re­served seats.

PHO­TOS: LEON SADIKI

CHAMP Simphiwe ‘Chain Re­ac­tion’ Khonco is de­ter­mined

TOUGH Nkosi­nathi ‘Mab­here’ Joyi says he wants to win the IBO belt

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