Forgive me, pleads Mpumalanga boxer

Richard Nkosi

Richard Nkosi

An amateur boxer from Mpumalanga, who earlier abandoned his province and opted to represent Gauteng, wants to be forgiven and return to fight in his province's colours.

Ashley Dhlamini, 23, said lack of facilities and support prompted him to represent Gauteng. He said his stint in Gauteng was an eye opener for him in terms of being nurtured in boxing and that the training was the best.

Last week the featherweight fighter was part of Team South Africa that took part in the Zone VI games in Botswana where he was knocked out in the finals by a local fighter.

"Before reaching the final I had beaten fighters from Swaziland and Lesotho in the quarters and semifinals. Despite being knocked out in the finals I have booked myself a spot in the Africa Cup that will be held in Madagascar in May," said Dhlamini.

He will prepare himself in Thailand.

"I have gained a lot [of knowledge] during my stint in Gauteng and now it's time for me to return to my province and share my experience.

"My goal is to take part in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing before turning professional," said Dhlamini.

Andile Mofu, South African National Amateur Boxing Organisation secretary, said Dhlamini can rejoin Mpumalanga.

"There is nothing that prohibits him, he is free to represent any province. There are no contractual agreements for boxers about which province to fight for," said Mofu.

Jan van Vuuren, Mpumalanga Boxing Organisation president, said: "The door will always be open for Dhlamini."