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'Hammer' calls it quits after 20 years

By Bongani Magasela | 2017-07-11 07:43:43.0

Former SA lightweight champion Patrick "Hammer" Malinga is ending his illustrious career, which spans 20 years.

The 39-year-old veteran from Vosloorus made this announcement yesterday, a few days after he was knocked out in the first round by little-known Russian Roman Andreev at Romazan Ice Palace in Russia.

The knockdown was Malinga's eighth loss out of 11. The tough-as-nails warrior challenged Andreev for a vacant WBO Intercontinental belt.

"I am done with boxing as a fighter," said Malinga, who boasts 27 knockouts from 30 wins against a draw.

He fought his first professional fight in 1997. The second-born son of the late trainer Jabulani Malinga had veteran trainer Norman Hlabane in his corner.

Jabulani's first-born son Peter held the SA, WBU and IBO welterweight belts, while the youngest of his three sons, Vus'Umuzi, held the SA, WBC International bantamweight titles. Peter, 45, and Vus'Umuzi, 37, are now honing the skills of young fighters.

"I am going to join my brothers," said Patrick. "I trained the likes of Ayanda Nkosi [current Gauteng lightweight champion] . Boxing has been good and sometimes not good to me. All good or bad things come to an end."

He said his mind was not in the fight in Russia. "I did not get clearance from BSA and I do not know why. So I left without a clearance." he said.

"Then the promoter in Russia came to me in our dressing room and said the fight was off because I did not have a clearance. I had already wrapped up my hands and was ready to fight. Just as I was about to leave the arena, we were informed that . the fight was on again. That is when my mind went off," said Malinga .