‘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

Daily Dispatch - - Sport -

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

Pic­ture: BAFANA MAHLANGU

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

Pic­ture: GALLO IM­AGES

ON A MIS­SION: Sim­phiwe Ve­tyeka faces one of his big­gest chal­lenges when he steps into the ring against Tshifhiwa Mun­yai

Pic­ture: GALLO IM­AGES)

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

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