‘Golden Boy’ must untangle the ‘Spider’
Search for ring gems will take M’sane by storm Fuzile has sights set on making an impact at Palace Joyi hits the road to revive his career as he weighs options for new trainer
MDANTSANE City will continue with its outstanding commitment to unearth boxing talent in the Mdantsane region when it hosts the sixth edition of its development series in two weeks time.
The venue has incorporated boxing, due to its religious following in the township, to its social programme and this year will be no different when close to 30 boxing clubs battle for supremacy.
Already the programme has produced such luminary champions as current reigning SA champions Phila Mpontshane and Nozwelethu Mathontsi.
Mpontshane from the legendary Eyethu Boxing Club holds the SA junior-lightweight crown while Mathontsi from Sisonke is the reigning SA junior-flyweight female champion.
Eastern Cape Amateur Boxing Organisation (Ecabo) president Vido Mntekwana said the tournaments at the Mdantsane mall have formed the integral part of developing boxing in the Mdantsane township.
“We are in our sixth year and the competition has grown in leaps and bounds each year,” he said.
While the tournaments which were initially held in December during the school holidays are dominated by Mdantsane boxing clubs, it is opened to those outside the region including East London Amateur Boxing Organisation (Elabo).
“For instance this year we will have a club from Somerset East called Modern Boxing Club,” he said.
This year will see the tournaments being held on October 21 and 28 limiting them from being contested for the whole October weekends as was the case last year.
Mdantsane City marketing manager Wendy Zitha said the tournaments were launched in line with hard work and the determination the Mdantsane township commands of being South Africa’s boxing Mecca.
“Now thanks to a new initiative, more young pugilists have the chance of being thrust into the spotlight,” she said. “Over the years, the urban township, 15km from East London, has spawned numerous national and international boxing champions, including former IBF super-bantamweight champion Vuyani ‘The Beast’ Bungu and retired IBF world bantamweight champion Welcome Ncita.”
She said the initiative was hoping to build on that status, and possibly uncover future superstars with Mdantsane City Shopping Centre hosting the tournaments.
The tournaments have already generated immense interest among boxing clubs in Mdantsane, and even further afield in Buffalo City.
“The contest contributes towards sports development in South Africa, which is a vital aspect in instilling discipline among the youth,” said Zitha.
“Most importantly, it drives youngsters away from a life of crime. The upliftment of the standard of living in our community really matters to us,” she added.
The tournaments are open to all boxing clubs, schools and sports lovers, who stand a chance of winning prizes, including medals and trophies worth R10 000, sponsored by Mdantsane City.
In each of the age groups – juniors, youth and senior amateurs – there will be gold medals for the winner and silver for the runner-up. There are also miniature trophies for the best bout, male and female.
Each bout will consist of three rounds, lasting three minutes for seniors and two minutes for junior and youth boxers.
The club that collects the most points becomes the overall winner across all age groups.
Zitha invited spectators to come at the event as it will be free to the public and will take place in the mall parking lot opposite Entrance 1. The tournament runs from 10am to 4pm on both Saturdays. — Boxing Mecca MDANTSANE boxing hero Nkosinathi Joyi has uprooted to Johannesburg in a bid to revive his boxing career.
Joyi, who has not fought since losing a gutsy points decision to Simpiwe Konkco for the IBO mini-flyweight title last November, is yet to decide on which boxing trainer he will join in Johannesburg.
“For now we are assessing the situation before deciding on what to do,” said Joyi’s adviser Siyolo Dabula who sent the left-hander up to Johannesburg.
“He is settling in well for now and is trying to get into shape.”
There were reports linking Joyi to trainer Damean Durandt. who is the son of the late Nick Durandt.
Having taken over the reins of the club, Durandt jnr has been steadily building the stable including the signing of Mthatha boxer Athi Dumezweni.
But Dabula said no decision had been taken in that regard as yet.
Joyi turned down a fight against Deejay Kriel with the WBC miniflyweight crown at stake.
The fight was scheduled in two weeks’ time and although Joyi was informed of it a good five weeks he said he was not in good physical condition to take it.
“We could not take the Kriel fight because let’s be honest Joyi is not the gym freak.”
There have been reports on Joyi leading a wayward lifestyle but Dabula declined to confirm that this influenced him to bring the boxer up to Johannesburg.
Now 34 years old, Joyi is winding down his career hence he does not want to take risky fights if he was not fully prepared, according to Dabula.
One of the best boxing talents to emerge from Mdantsane did not fulfil his potential due to a combination of factors including bad management.
ALL eyes will be on Azinga Fuzile to prove himself on the big stage if he is indeed destined for stardom.
This when the 21-year-old unbeaten Duncan Village star takes on Tshifhiwa Munyai in the semifinals of the Featherweight Super 4 series at Emperors Palace next weekend.
Fuzile will be fighting away from the confines of his East London base where he commands a legion of fans. And facing Munyai will be the biggest step up in class for him.
The Limpopo-born has fought more than half of Fuzile’s bouts compared to Fuzile who has fought merely eight times. Munyai has lost three times while the “Golden Boy” is yet to lose.
The other semifinal berth will pit veteran Simpiwe Vetyeka against Lerato Dlamini with the winners facing off in the final next February for R500 000 prize-money.
Fuzile’s camp has been criticised in certain boxing quarters for entering him to the series, with arguments suggesting he is not yet ready for the big league. But his trainer Mzamo Chief Njekanye is the least concerned about the calls saying his charge would emerge the last man standing.
“They say Azinga has no experience but his experience is beating up boxers with experience,” he said.
While all eyes will be on Fuzile, Njekanye has unearthed another amateur gem who is also a left-hander.
This after his amateur boxer Lwando Mgabi won gold at the amateur junior championships recently. The 16-year-old is described as an ubertalent in the mould of Fuzile by those who have seen him plying his craft.
And Njekanye has no illusions that Mgabi will follow in the footsteps of Fuzile.
“While all eyes are on Azinga I am continuing with my job behind the scenes to churn out other talents,” he said. “In two to three years time people will be stunned when I unleash this youngster but Dispatch will have already informed them about him.”
Mgabi campaigns in the 50kg category where his astonishing talent is setting tongues wagging in the unpaid ranks. Njekanye is not new to this kind of surprises as he did when he unleashed a then unknown Xolisani Ndongeni a while back.
Ndongeni would go on and win several titles including two SA belts regional crowns and the IBO world diadem.
He has since gone to US where he is training at the famous Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas. — Boxing Mecca
Along with long spells of inactivity which adversely affected his stand as the best in the world, Joyi ended up fighting once a year until rust accumulated and affected his attributes.
He lost his IBF crown in a sevenround stoppage defeat upset to unheralded Mexican Mario Rodriguez in 2012 ending his tenure as the best mini-flyweight in the world.
While the boxer is headed for the exit door, Dabula said there were still plenty of fights left for Joyi to get involved in.
“There are still endless possibilities for Joyi including a national title challenge as well as others,” he says.
In fact Joyi’s fight against reigning champion Siphamandla Baleni is a highly anticipated affair which would draw a full house in East London.
With Kriel now fighting Thembani Okolo of Port Elizabeth in a non-title bout, Joyi is hoping that a clash may still happen down the line.
The fight was to form part of the Featherweight Super 4 series but fight promoter Rodney Berman is already organising the finals of the series for next February where the Kriel-Joyi bout may be slotted in.
“We would gladly take the bout if it were to be held next February,” said Dabula. — Boxing Mecca
NEW PASTURES: Nkosinathi Joyi has returned to Johannesburg where he is looking to revive his boxing career. He is yet to make a decision on which boxing club he will join
ON A MISSION: Simphiwe Vetyeka faces one of his biggest challenges when he steps into the ring against Tshifhiwa Munyai
BIG MOMENT: Lerato Dlamini will square up against veteran Simpiwe Vetyeka in the semifinals of the Featherweight Super 4 series
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Young boxers will showcase their talents yet again when the development series hits Mdantsane for another fight fest