Beat­ing bul­lies in the ring

Sunday World - - World Of Sport - BON­GANI MA­GASELA

YOUNG pro Joshua TKO Stud­dard can bring back the flair lo­cal box­ers were once known for.

This is ac­cord­ing to sev­eral re­spected box­ing per­son­al­i­ties.

The 22-year-old fly­weight from Sophi­a­town, Joburg, is the nephew of the late Transvaal mid­dleweight box­ing cham­pion Cameron Kan­ga­roo” Adams.

Those who speak highly of Stud­dard in­clude for­mer WBU wel­ter­weight cham­pion Jan Bergman; Pas­tor Peter Faver, a for­mer ju­nior wel­ter­weight cam­paigner from West­bury; and trainer Bernie Pail­man from No­ord­ge­sig.

The boy has a bright fu­ture in box­ing. He’s got height and power,” said Bergman, whose left hook used to sep­a­rate box­ers’ minds from their bod­ies.

I watched his re­cent fight when he stopped his op­po­nent in the third round [Linda Si­fundza on April 10] and I was im­pressed.”

Faver said: Joshua is ca­pa­ble of do­ing it, but I am not im­pressed by how his mother is in­volved.

Hekkie Budler [the WBA and IBO strawweight cham­pion] is like Joshua. He en­joys sup­port from his fa­ther, but the fa­ther al­lows trainer Colin Nathan to do what he knows best.

That is what must hap­pen to Joshua, then you will see won­ders.”

Pail­man guided Stud­dard to a thir­dround knockout win in his pro­fes­sional de­but against Colin Tloubatla on Oc­to­ber 6 2012.

He said Stud­dard just needed to fo­cus. He has a lot on his plate.” The two parted ways last year and the hard-hit­ting rookie is now trained by War­ren Hul­ley.

Stud­dard said he had to put his stud­ies on hold to fo­cus be­cause box­ing re­quired un­di­vided at­ten­tion.

I have a pas­sion for this sport, which runs in my fam­ily,” he said adding that his fa­ther, Rocky, and grand­fa­ther also boxed.

My mother man­ages me and she looks af­ter my diet.

My fam­ily are so sup­port­ive that they even al­low me to use the back­yard of our house to train be­cause War­ren does not have a gym.”

Stud­dard wants to be the best fly­weight in the coun­try, and he doesn’t want to be com­pared to other mem­bers of his il­lus­tri­ous box­ing fam­ily.

I know it is not go­ing to be easy, but I have a dream.”

That dream was born when he was grow­ing up in El­do­rado Park. He was of­ten bul­lied.

One day I came back home cry­ing, as I had al­ways done

My fa­ther grabbed me by the chest and told me that it bet­ter be the last time I came home cry­ing be­cause he was go­ing to beat me up,” Stud­dard said.

I went out, they bul­lied me again and this time I ran home past my fa­ther.

We had this old wooden dress­ing ta­ble with long legs. I ripped one leg off, dragged it back to the street and whacked a few of them.

Their par­ents came to com­plain to my fa­ther. He ad­mon­ished me for beat­ing them up with weapons,” he said.

Rocky then started teach­ing his son the ba­sics of box­ing bal­ance and move­ment and showed him some ex­er­cises to prac­tise.

I did that for four weeks with­out go­ing out.

One day I went out and about 10 of them came to do what they had been do­ing in the past. I knocked the first one and he fell. The other four also tried they, too, hit the deck, and the oth­ers ran for dear life.” ! ! " ! # $ % ! & $ " % " #'

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