Fana hangs up his gloves

Af­ter con­tin­u­ously eat­ing can­vas, vet­eran moves on

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

Mzonke “The Rose of Khayelit­sha” Fana was the coun­try’s old­est ac­tive boxer be­fore fi­nally de­cid­ing to quit the ring and be­come a trainer at 43.

Lately, things had not been so rosy for the for­mer South African light­weight and two-time In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Fed­er­a­tion ju­nior light­weight cham­pion.

He lost four suc­ces­sive fights by unan­i­mous points de­ci­sions, the last be­ing against Thomp­son Mok­wana – who re­lieved him of his na­tional crown at Turf­fontein Race Course in Jo­han­nes­burg in June.

Be­fore that loss, Fana had been em­bar­rassed by Bri­tish boxer Terry Flana­gan in a fight for the World Box­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion crown at Ice Arena Wales in Cardiff in July last year.

He later lost to Ghana­ian Em­manuel Ta­goe when fight­ing for the va­cant In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion light­weight di­a­dem at Bukom Box­ing Arena in Ac­cra. Fana col­lapsed just af­ter the fi­nal bell and doc­tors at ring­side man­aged to re­vive him be­fore he was rushed to hos­pi­tal.

An­other no­table de­feat for Fana was that suf­fered at the hands of Xolisani “Nomeva” Ndon­geni for the World Box­ing As­so­ci­a­tion Pan-African ti­tle in 2015.

How­ever, Fana still re­fused to bow out of the ring de­spite be­ing ad­vised to do so for his own safety.

“Af­ter a thor­ough soul-search­ing, I have de­cided to re­tire from box­ing and nur­ture tal­ent at our box­ing club called Blood, Sweat & Tears in Sea Point, Cape Town,” said Fana this week.

“There are many good young­sters at the sta­ble. As some­one who was trained there my­self, I felt it wise to help de­velop young tal­ent.”

Fana said he was proud of be­ing Mzansi’s old­est ac­tive pugilist. The vet­eran has been box­ing since 1994, and boasts a pro­fes­sional record of

I’ve won so many fights us­ing my jabs. I’d like to pro­duce cham­pi­ons who will adopt this style of fight­ing

51 fights with 38 wins and 13 de­feats.

“I have made a mark as a fighter and feel it is time to plough back to box­ing by pro­duc­ing champs in the near fu­ture,” he said.

Fana is widely ad­mired for his ef­fec­tive jabs that he was ca­pa­ble of throw­ing with both hands.

“I’ve won so many fights us­ing my jabs mainly. I’d like to pro­duce many cham­pi­ons in fu­ture who will adopt this style of fight­ing,” he said.

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