Matyhila back to his roots
AGEING boxer Phumzile "Sweet Chocolate" Matyhila is returning to his East London roots on June 24.
The South African bantamweight champion is not returning home to retire boxing. His trainer-cum-manager Nick Durandt, said the 36-year-old boxer is going to East London to prove that he is not over the hill.
Mdantsane-born Matyhila will lace up his gloves and defend his crown when he trades blows with Toto Helebe at the Orient Theatre, a venue where he has been successful in his last three fights.
Durandt said yesterday: "I'm very happy that we are returning to Orient Theatre, an arena I regard as the best in the world. Many people have said things about Matyhila and we are going to show them that my boxer still has a lot to offer."
Though he is confident of yet another Matyhila victory, Durandt has admitted that Helebe is a closed book to them. However, he doesn't have a problem with that as Matyhila knows what to do inside the ring. Helebe, from Gugulethu in Cape Town, defeated Matyhila's stablemate Lusanda Komanisi by a third-round knockout in 2009.
"He should be a very good puncher as he stopped Komanisi, who is a very good boxer.
"But we are not overly concerned about Helebe because Matyhila is going to take very good care of him like he has done with other boxers in the past," said Durandt.
The Johannesburg-based trainer has revealed that Matyhila has had some sparring sessions with current International Boxing Federation flyweight champion Moruti Mthalane, Jackson Chauke, Makazole Tete and Evans Mbamba while preparing for the fight.
Matyhila, who represented South Africa at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, beat Cleutus Mbhele and Ntobeko Duma in his first and second title defences.
The tournament will be promoted by Koko Godlo's KK Productions.