Fri Oct 21 13:37:57 SAST 2016

Mayweather was in Vus'Umuzi's corner

By unknown | Jun 13, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Bongani Magasela in Bangkok

Bongani Magasela in Bangkok

In the hours leading to his historic feat, Vus'Umuzi "Marvelous" Malinga had a dream.

Malinga, who beat Thailand's Veeraphol Nakhonluang in Nonthaburi yesterday, told Sowetan on Wednesday that Floyd Mayweather had visited him in his sleep.

"I cannot recall our conversation due to the excitement of being visited by the world's best pound-for-pound boxer," he said at the time, a glow on his face.

"I am not saying that I will win because of the dream. I was confident of a win even before I came here. I am merely saying the dream has further boosted my confidence."

And what a boost it proved to be, as Malinga, 27, who is trained by his father Jabulani at the JD Boxing Academy in Ekurhuleni, successfully bid for the right to challenge for Hozumi Hasegawa of Japan's World Boxing Council (WBC) bantamweight title.

Nakhonluang wanted to win back the WBC belt he surrendered to Hasegawa on April 16 2005.

Before that the Thai fighter had reigned supreme for seven years with 14 defences.

Experience and territorial advantage were supposed to be Nakhonluang's advantage before the fight that was staged by a local promoter, who won the purse bid with $72000.

But all that did not scare Malinga, who came in with little experience.

This fearless left-handed fighter, a former undefeated SA champion, had warned that Nakhonluang's time was up - and he proved it.

"He has tasted honey already. I am young, hungrier and faster and I will not allow him to be a stumbling block to a brighter future. I have worked very hard to be where I am today," said Malinga, who was second in the WBC ratings before the fight.

He wrapped up his preparations back home but he did light gym work in Bangkok with Jabulani and assistant trainer Thulani Buthelezi just to kill the jet-lag and maintain his weight.

"War is the best word to describe our fights," explained this warlord before the fight.

"I will be on song - what he does, I will do it twice as well.

"I promise to be a good ambassador and put myself on line not only to fight for the WBC belt but also to win it."

That's half the job done.


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