Hawk, Su­gar­boy man am­a­teurs’ cor­ners

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

Box­ing icons Wel­come “The Hawk” Ncita and Thu­lani “Su­gar­boy” Malinga are work­ing hard to give back to the sport they love by groom­ing ama­teur box­ers in their com­mu­ni­ties.

They want to pro­duce tal­ented fight­ers who will be­come global ti­tle hold­ers like them­selves.

Dur­ing their time, Ncita, from Mdantsane in the East­ern Cape, and Malinga, who is based in Lady­smith in KwaZulu-Natal, be­came the first lo­cal box­ers to win the In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Fed­er­a­tion and World Box­ing Coun­cil ti­tles, re­spec­tively.

Ncita said he was in charge of 50 boys from box­ing clubs in the Buffalo City Metropoli­tan Mu­nic­i­pal­ity and vil­lages around the prov­ince.

“Su­gar­boy and I held dis­cus­sions with the view to train young­sters in com­mu­ni­ties in our re­spec­tive prov­inces to uncover box­ing tal­ent,” said Ncita.

“So far, the young­sters who I nur­ture are sharp and they have shown some po­ten­tial in the ring. Most will hope­fully turn pro­fes­sional in fu­ture.”

Ncita (51) said train­ing am­a­teurs with Su­gar­boy in their re­spec­tive prov­inces would help im­mensely in the de­vel­op­ment of lo­cal box­ing.

“We want to bring the next gen­er­a­tion of ex­cit­ing times, like those of late icons such as Arthur ‘Fight­ing Prince’ Mayisela and Nkosana ‘Hap­py­boy’ Mgx­aji, both of whom were great am­a­teurs be­fore they made their mark as pro­fes­sion­als.”

Malinga (61), who owns a sta­ble called Su­gar­boy Box­ing Club in Lady­smith, says he finds his ama­teur fight­ers at schools around the prov­ince.

“So far, I’m in charge of a strong team of about 30 fight­ers that I dis­cov­ered around KwaZulu-Natal,” said Malinga.

“Two of my boys, wel­ter­weight Kwanele Mabaso and Siphosihle Makhoba, who is a fly­weight, have al­ready turned pro­fes­sional.”

Malinga, whose club was formed in 2012, said his re­la­tion­ship with Ncita was ben­e­fi­cial to box­ing.

“As for­mer pro­fes­sional fight­ers, we want to see ama­teur box­ing thriv­ing in the coun­try. We might dis­cover good box­ers for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.”

PHOTO: THEMBA MAKOFANE

HAWK Wel­come Ncita trains ama­teur box­ers in the East­ern Cape

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