Blow by blow

Box­ing Mecca

Daily Dispatch - - Front Page - MESULI ZIFO

The news of Ayanda Ndu­lani’s de­par­ture from Kholisile “KC” Cen­gani sta­ble has shocked the lo­cal box­ing fra­ter­nity.

Cen­gani was still in the process of re­cov­er­ing from los­ing Khany­ile Bu­lana in sim­i­lar fash­ion, when the blow came.

In this brief chat he talks about his pain:

BM: When did you learn that Ayanda Ndu­lani was go­ing to leave you? KHOLISILE CEN­GANI: I did not see it com­ing at all but look­ing back there were tell­tales. For starters we work sim­i­lar shifts at work for two sis­ter com­pa­nies so we go to work to­gether.

But two weeks ago when I went to pick him up, he was not there.

When I called him, he said he would fol­low on his own. But he never ar­rived at work. The bosses asked me about his where­abouts. Then I sus­pected that some­thing was wrong.

Are you telling me this boy was also work­ing be­sides be­ing a boxer?

He was not only work­ing but he was on per­ma­nent staff. In fact, this thing hap­pened when he was about to get a job pro­mo­tion – and he knows that.

In other words he quit his job to leave you?

Ab­so­lutely and that is why he has left us flab­ber­gasted. Even his fam­ily does not be­lieve what has hap­pened. His sis­ters have been as­sail­ing me with mes­sages to regis­ter their dis­ap­point­ment be­cause they know where we come from with Ndu­lani.

Could the de­par­ture of Khany­ile Bu­lana have played a role in all this?

Look, in Bu­lana’s case there was the Azinga Fuzile fac­tor and I still be­lieve Bu­lana was caught up in the cross­fire. This time Ndu­lani left on his own al­though I un­der­stand that he left with other box­ers.

Yes I spoke to Ricky We­in­stein and he said he ar­rived with Mfusi Max­hayi and Thabo Son­jica.

Yes but what pains me most is the fact that I took Ndu­lani in af­ter he lost to Ma­gusha (Xolisa) and since then he never lost a sin­gle fight un­der me. He even avenged the loss to Ma­gusha as you al­ready know.

I sense that you treat th­ese boys like your own sons.

They are my sons. I even gave them my SUV to use to come to the gym.

This set me on a col­li­sion course with my wife but I told her that I do not want th­ese boys to miss train­ing when I have other com­mit­ments. So yes, we have been to­gether for a while.

This must be very hard for you af­ter los­ing Aphiwe Mboyiya through sus­pen­sion for dop­ing.

If you re­call, you ran a story about me and Ndu­lani and Bu­lana just af­ter Mboyiya was sus­pended.

I said in the story th­ese boys were go­ing to be cham­pi­ons to erase the pain I felt over the Mboyiya de­ba­cle. In­deed, I made them cham­pi­ons but just af­ter that they both leave in a space of four months. You can imag­ine how I am feel­ing right now.

Did you have a con­tract with them?

You know, when you take a boy from the town­ship and train him to be a boxer you build loy­alty and other at­tributes, so to come with a con­tract is re­ally funny. I did not have a con­tract with them.

I feel for you mkhu­luwa (brother) but good luck in your fu­ture.

Thanks Mr Zifo, right now I am gut­ted. I guess I will have to pick my­self up again and sol­dier on, but it is very hard.

In­deed, I made them champs but just af­ter that they both left

Pic­ture: SUP­PLIED

HAP­PIER TIMES. Kholisile Cen­gani, right, and Ayanda Ndu­lani shortly af­ter the boxer won the ABU mini-fly­weight crown on points against Xolisa Ma­gusha. Ndu­lani has since left Cen­gani to pur­sue his ca­reer in Jo­han­nes­burg.

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