With­er­ing rose won’t quit

For­mer champ Fana shrugs off col­laps­ing in­ci­dent and vows to fight again Some box­ers who over­stayed their wel­come in the ring

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

Vet­eran West­ern Cape boxer Mzonke “Rose of Khayelit­sha” Fana is adamant that he won’t re­tire from box­ing now, de­spite hav­ing col­lapsed after a de­feat in Ghana last Fri­day. The 43-year-old boxer, the coun­try’s old­est ac­tive pugilist after 22 years in the sport, col­lapsed in the ring after los­ing to Em­manuel Ta­goe by a unan­i­mous points de­ci­sion for the va­cant In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion light­weight clash at the Bukom Box­ing Arena in Ac­cra.

Fana, who has had 49 fights, was car­ried out of the ring on a stretcher and rushed to a hospi­tal in Ac­cra, where he un­der­went a brain scan and was later re­leased.

But de­spite the health scare, he be­lieves he is still in fine fet­tle and will not hang up his gloves.

“I want to have at least one more fight be­fore I can con­sider re­tir­ing. At the mo­ment, I still feel on top of my game. Never mind my age, I can still box,” he said.

But Fana ev­i­dently ab­sorbed a bit too much pun­ish­ment from Ta­goe.

“I felt a bit dizzy, hence I col­lapsed. But I’m al­right now. I still have more box­ing left in my veins,” he said.

Fana’s de­feat in Ghana comes al­most five months after he suf­fered an­other em­bar­rass­ing unan­i­mous points de­ci­sion loss to Welsh­man Terry Flana­gan for the World Box­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion light­weight cham­pi­onship at Ice Arena in Cardiff, Wales, in July.

Dur­ing that clash, Fana was turned into a punch­ing bag by the more pol­ished Flana­gan.

The Rose of Khayelit­sha leads the chart of Mzansi box­ers who are still throw­ing punches com­pet­i­tively de­spite age no longer be­ing on their side (see graphic).

He also falls into the cat­e­gory of fight­ers who col­lapsed in the ring dur­ing or after fights (see box).

The for­mer In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Fed­er­a­tion su­per feath­er­weight king­pin was stripped of his World Box­ing Fed­er­a­tion in­ter­na­tional light­weight belt last month.

The gen­eral feel­ing in box­ing cir­cles is that, for the sake of his health if not his life, Fana should throw in the towel.

This reporter is con­vinced that he has noth­ing more to prove in box­ing. De­but: Fights:

PHOTO: GALLO IMAGES

VET­ERAN Mzonke Fana, the coun­try’s old­est ac­tive boxer, has been in the ring for 22 years WBO Africa wel­ter­weight cham­pion Septem­ber 1995 47

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