Sun Sep 24 05:00:58 SAST 2017

Ndongeni thanks 'real father' Phosa

By Bongani Magasela | 2017-09-13 09:43:59.0

Xolisani "Nomeva" Ndongeni paid tribute to politician Mathews Phosa for funding his trip to America where he will team up with new trainer Luis Tapia in Las Vegas.

Ndongeni, South African and WBA Pan African flyweight female champion Leighandre "Baby Lee" Jegels, former boxing promoter Andile Sidinile and attorney Ntsikelelo Manyisane, jetted off to the United States yesterday.

"I want to thank Mr Phosa from the bottom of my heart and may he continue being a father in a real meaning of the word to other children when they cry for help.

"I am looking forward to being based in the US for four years and starting a new life as a boxer. It is not easy but it has to happen," said Ndongeni.

Jegels said: "Being in the same camp and training with an achiever like Layla McCarter [former six times world female champion] will be a lifetime experience. It will stand me in good stead in future."

Phosa is not new to boxing. He was appointed honorary president of the World Boxing Foundation in 2014.

Phosa said: "This is part of my life. I did not extend my hand to boxing for a cent . no, but I want to assist people and also give them pride and make them somebodies, make them heroes and heroines, make them live quality lives and be permanent role models.

"These young boxers have done very well for themselves and deserve to be assisted to achieve even more.

"They are going there to sharpen their skills. If and when Ndongeni and Jegels become champions, they will not be doing wonders for the Eastern Cape only but for the entire South Africa."

While Ndongeni will now be based in the United States, Jegels will train with McCarter for 10 days before jetting back to the country.

Sidinile, who initiated Ndongeni's move to the United States, has a cordial relationship with Tapia.

The relationship has grown since the American guided McCarter to an eighth-round stoppage win over Noni Tenge for the WBA junior middleweight title in East London in 2012. Ndongeni has signed a four-year deal with Tapia.

Sidinile owned the defunct Sijuta Boxing Promotion while Manyisane is known for successfully getting ex-convict Sabelo Jubatha off the hook for allegedly assaulting his wife, a police officer, in 2013.

Jubatha had previously sentenced to 15 years for rape before coming out after serving seven years to win the SA featherweight boxing belt in 2010.

He lost it to Sydney Maluleke in 2012.