Rose to a Rose: call it a day

‘Mzonke must con­sider leav­ing box­ing be­cause I fore­see dan­ger for him.’


IT IS PER­HAPS apt that one ‘rose’ tells the other ‘rose’ that it has wilted. Din­gaan “The Rose of Soweto” Tho­bela, this week called on Mzonke “The Rose of Khayelit­sha” Fana to se­ri­ously con­sider hang­ing up his box­ing gloves.

“Box­ing is a sport. But I know that we as box­ers take box­ing as a busi­ness and that is why it is hard for us to quit,” said the man who also some­what over­stayed and en­dured seven losses in his last seven fights.

And so when he speaks about over­stay­ing be­ing wrong, it is per­haps pru­dent on the one ad­vised to take heed.

“I think Mzonke must start con­sid­er­ing to leave box­ing be­cause I fore­see dan­ger for him. He has lost some fights badly and we will sit down with him and make him re­alise that it is im­por­tant for him to con­sider his well-be­ing.”

Tho­bela’s con­cern comes in the wake of Fana suf­fer­ing yet another de­feat this past week­end, a points loss to Thomp­son Mok­wana dur­ing their SA Light­weight ti­tle bout in Tur­fontein.

The de­feat for the 43-yearold for­mer IBF Light­weight king comes shortly af­ter he fell un­con­scious fol­low­ing his de­feat to Ghana­ian Em­manuel Ta­goe in their va­cant IBO light­weight ti­tle clash in De­cem­ber.

Be­fore that Fana also lost to Terry Flana­gan and Howik Be­bra­ham, de­feats that see his record boast­ing a mas­sive 13 losses.

Tho­bela said it was painful to see Fana tak­ing pun­ish­ment at the week­end.

“It was re­ally not a good sight see­ing Mzonke stum­bling across the ring and punches rain­ing on his head. Of course at the end of the day, the de­ci­sion to quit lies with him and his man­agers, but I’d ad­vise him to in­tro­spect. Surely when you lose four fights in a row like he has, even with your am­bi­tion and per­haps your his­tory as a good fighter, logic must dic­tate that you re­con­sider.”

Tho­bela did ex­actly that. Hav­ing been a superstar as a younger fighter he found him­self drawn back into the ring af­ter a two-year ab­sence only to see fa­ther time make it im­pos­si­ble for him to an­swer the bell for a tenth round of a fight.

“The thing is we all have am­bi­tions, but it is wise to lis­ten to the ad­vice of the fans and the box­ing com­men­ta­tors who are watch­ing ob­jec­tively and can see when you are no longer cut out for it.

“Of course some of the great­est fight­ers we know – like Muham­mad Ali and Marvin Ha­gler – made come­backs af­ter re­tir­ing mo­ti­vated by the love of the sport and in­cen­tives. But what hap­pened to them? My ad­vice to Mzonke would re­ally be that he stops be­fore he suf­fers se­ri­ous dam­age.” The Rose has spo­ken. Will the other Rose lis­ten?● Un­de­feated mid­dleweight world cham­pion Gen­nady Golovkin has dis­missed the bout be­tween Amer­i­can boxer Floyd May­weather and Ir­ish mixed mar­tial arts cham­pion Conor McGre­gor as a “cir­cus show”.

May­weather, a for­mer multi-weight world cham­pion who re­tired in 2015 with a 49-0 record, is com­ing back to face McGre­gor on Au­gust 26, three weeks be­fore Golovkin’s mid­dleweight show­down with Mex­i­can Saul ‘Canelo’ Al­varez at the same Las Vegas venue.

Kaza­khstan’s Golovkin be­lieves the 12-round fight be­tween May­weather and McGre­gor, a dou­ble UFC cham­pion who has never boxed pro­fes­sion­ally, is a busi­ness ar­range­ment for both men to rake in mil­lions of dol­lars.

“This is not for fight­ers, but busi­ness,” Gol­vokin, who has won all 37 of his fights, told re­porters of the non-ti­tle con­test that is ex­pected to draw a huge pay-per-view au­di­ence.

“I think peo­ple un­der­stand what is a true fight, a box­ing fight, like mine with Canelo or a big show, maybe some­times for peo­ple a funny show, like a cir­cus show.

“Ev­ery­body knows. Conor is not a boxer, just a show. If you want to watch a show please watch them, if you want to watch a true fight, a true box­ing fight and you re­spect box­ing, watch my fight with Canelo.”

Golovkin has made 18 con­sec­u­tive world mid­dleweight ti­tle de­fences, while his op­po­nent has won world ti­tles in two di­vi­sions dur­ing a 51-fight ca­reer. Al­varez’s sole de­feat came against May­weather in 2013.

Last month, Hall of Famer Os­car De La Hoya also termed the May­weather-McGre­gor con­test a “farce” that should not be al­lowed to hap­pen.

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