THABISO "The Rock" Mchunu is finding it hard to break into the big time despite making ground in boxing at a tender age.
Mchunu is the first black South African boxer to win a national title in his fourth professional fight. He was 19 when he stopped Patrick Madzinga in the ninth round for the junior heavyweight title on February 29 2008.
He then stopped Marciano Commey in 32 seconds of the first round to win the WBA Pan African crown.
But Mchunu, who is undefeated in eight fights with eight stoppages, is not mentioned in the same breath as Vic Toweel, the first white South African prizefighter to win a national title in his fourth professional fight.
Mchunu's father and trainer Alex says his son could be the victim of being a "rural boy".
This youngster, whose physique resembles a young Mike Tyson, is from the sleepy village of KwaXimba near Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal.
Top Gauteng boxing trainer Nick Durandt has now dared Mchunu to put the national belt on the line against his charge Daniel Bruwer, after Bruwer's fight against Sean Santana at Wembley Arena on July 1. Santana was Mchunu's first victim in the defence of the national title.
Santana will fight Bruwer in the main supporting bout of the WBO Africa super middleweight championship between Zimbabwean holder Tineyi Maridzo and Mikey Schultz.
Alex says: "Bruwer is not in Thabiso's class. It is also not his fault that his opponents have failed to last longer against him.
" Bruwer will probably spread the gospel - after we are through with him - that Thabiso deserves far more respect."