Weekend Post (South Africa)

Boxing’s Ntante has high hopes

- Yonela Mofu mofuy@timesmedia.co.za

TAKING the youth off the streets and into the gym is boxing coach Caiphus Ntante’s dream.

He has produced the two-time defending South African junior champion Nozipho Bell, one of the fighters to come out of the Bay.

Ntante is the owner of Caiph’s Camp Boxing Club and started boxing in 1979 as a 10-year-old.

He turned profession­al in 1990 and fought alongside former Internatio­nal Boxing Federation (IBF) bantamweig­ht champion Mbulelo Bhotile and former IBF junior bantamweig­ht champion Zolani Tete.

Ntante formed his own amateur boxing club in Joe Slovo township soon after his retirement in 1999.

He was selected to coach for the metro in the same year. In addition to this appointmen­t, the boxing coach was one of the head coaches for the Eastern Cape Amateur Boxing Organisati­on .

“I took the initiative to get into coaching when I saw boxing in Port Elizabeth was dying. Most of our boxers leave the Bay for greener pastures. With the right support from our stakeholde­rs we could definitely ignite the spark again,” Ntante said.

The charismati­c boxing coach has produced an incredible six South African boxing champions from his stable, one of whom is the current female South African junior lightweigh­t boxing champion, Bell .

One of the first champions ever to come out of his stable was Mbulelo Nyanda in 2003. Getting title fights has been a challenge for his stable. “Having to get a title fight is not easy. Having to pay boxers and assist them with nutrition has proved to be a major trial for us. Each title fight requires at least R10 000,” Ntante said.

The coach is looking to expand his boxing camp to other townships in Port Elizabeth to curb transport costs and rent fees.

“I was motivated to start Caiph’s Camp boxing club to counter the drug and gangsteris­m happening in our disadvanta­ged communitie­s. I normally take some time out from our training sessions to talk about life skills and how to stay away from the mischievou­s activities that are happening in the communitie­s. Boxing gives these beautiful young children identity. It makes them feel like they too can play a role and make a difference in society, ” he said.

The coach said his dreams of reviving boxing in the Bay were slowly becoming a reality. In a bid to speed up the process he is trying to get support from the municipali­ty.

“My target for this year is to have four renowned boxers in the country by September. I am also hoping for growth in title fights by working with local promoters,” he said.

 ?? PHOTOGRAPH: YONELA MOFU ?? WORKING HARD: Coach Caiphus Ntante working with boxer Sinethemba Gungqisa
PHOTOGRAPH: YONELA MOFU WORKING HARD: Coach Caiphus Ntante working with boxer Sinethemba Gungqisa

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