Mnguni loses his edge as a promoter

Comment by Bongani Magasela

Comment by Bongani Magasela

Mzimase Mnguni ranks high on the long list of world-renowned boxing mentors, but the man who produced more South African and world champions than any other local mentor is fast losing it.

Mnguni, now a full-time boxing promoter, should be working in harmony with all boxing trainers in Eastern Cape to be able to retain his status .

Instead he is constantly involved in petty issues with other trainers and managers and this has impacted negatively on his once raved about Eyethu Boxing Gym in Mdantsane.

When Mguni took up the promotion of fighters on a full-time basis - something that he did part-time before - the boxing fraternity celebrated.

The ongoing exodus of young and old fighters from other provinces, especially Eastern Cape, to Gauteng because that is where the action is, was expected to come to a screeching end.

Instead the direct opposite happened.

Mnguni lost fighters to other trainers in Gauteng and that turned him into a very angry man.

Some of the fighters who remained have since bolted from his stable and teamed up with Vuyani Bungu who has gone solo as a trainer.

Bungu worked for Mnguni as an assistant trainer for many years but he was clearly not growing as a trainer.

The sad thing is that there is already tension between the two of them due to the departure of Mnguni's champions to Bungu's Boxing Academy.

The sooner Mnguni realises that he has outgrown the trade of training and negotiating purse monies for his fighters the better.

He however remains an accomplished mentor who has produced world beaters such as Welcome Ncita and Bungu (both IBF junior featherweight champs), Mbulelo Botile (IBF bantam and featherweight), Lindi Memani (WBU mini flyweight), Zolani Petelo (IBF mini flyweight) and Hawk Makepula (WBU and WBO junior fly and IBO flyweight), to mention but a few.

Bungu made a record 13 defences under Mnguni's mentorship.