Keep­ing the le­gacy alive

Blood, sweat and box­ing

CityPress - - Sport -


Toweel ju­nior is the son of late box­ing men­tor Alan Toweel, one of six sib­lings who helped en­grave this sur­name in box­ing’s his­tory books.

The oth­ers were the late Vic, Mau­rice, Frazer and Jimmy, and Wil­lie, who is still alive. Vic was the only South African to wear the undis­puted world ban­tamweight belt, and he also held the na­tional ban­tamweight, feath­er­weight and Bri­tish Em­pire ban­tamweight di­adems.

Alan se­nior was a trainer who honed the skills of pugilists in the back­yard of the fam­ily’s home in Lin­den, Jo­han­nes­burg.

Now his son has em­braced the sport and is knock­ing fight­ers into shape in the garage of their sec­ond home on the same street.

Alan ju­nior (52) is cur­rently in charge of 13 pro­fes­sional fight­ers, one of whom is 25-year-old Rofhiwa Maemu from Pimville in Soweto.

Maemu stopped Prince Ndlovu in the sec­ond round to be crowned the African Box­ing Union feath­er­weight cham­pion in Blairgowrie, north­ern Jo­han­nes­burg, two weeks ago.

Pic­tures of all the Toweels in ac­tion dur­ing their prime adorn the four walls of the Lin­den gym, where his box­ers are hard at work.

“I’d like to see all my fight­ers be great in the ring, like some of these un­cles of mine that you see on the walls,” says Alan ju­nior as he points to Vic’s photo.

The trainer tells his charges that his rel­a­tives were so ded­i­cated to the sport and worked so hard that they be­came world cham­pi­ons.

“Rofhiwa is ob­vi­ously my main man who is being looked up to by all fight­ers in the sta­ble. He has done well since join­ing our gym 18 months ago.

“He will be crowned world cham­pion in the near fu­ture,” Toweel says.

He points to an­other one of his sluggers, Jeff Ma­ga­gane, a light­weight cam­paigner who has lost only once in nine paid fights.

“I can’t help see­ing my­self hav­ing all world and South Africa ti­tle hold­ers being from the same gym in fu­ture. This will be great for the Toweel fam­ily as a whole,” says the trainer.

As we de­part, he re­minds me to keep the Toweel name in mind and to ex­pect more cham­pi­ons. The South African box­ing ring has been lucky to see promi­nent box­ers come from the same fam­i­lies.

Jab­u­lani Malinga, who died four years ago, made a mean­ing­ful con­tri­bu­tion to box­ing by steer­ing his sons Vusi, Peter, Pa­trick and Samuel to the top.

Vusi has won a South African ban­tamweight ti­tle, as well as World Box­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion (WBO) Africa and WBO in­ter­na­tional belts.

Peter lifted the WBO and In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Union wel­ter­weight di­adems, while Pa­trick took the na­tional light­weight hon­ours. Samuel held the na­tional and World Box­ing As­so­ci­a­tion (WBA) Pan-African super light­weight cham­pi­onships.

Then there is na­tional mid­dleweight cham­pion, Charles Oosthuizen, who shaped his son Thomas’ ca­reer – he went on to hold the WBA Pan-African and African crowns.

Other promi­nent fam­i­lies:

Steyn: Stof­fel; An­dries Jr; Gert and Japie

White­boy: Les­ley; Chris; Bram­ley; Ash­ley and Trevor Bungu: Vuyani and Dudu Joyi: Themba and Nkosi­nathi Tete: Zolani and Maka­zole Knoetze: Kal­lie and Ben­nie

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