King honours Zulu warrior Malinga

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Victory by Vus'Umuzi Malinga against Thai legend Veeraphol Sahaprom Nakhonluang last month did not only earn him the spot but also the respect from iNkosi Mzondeni Hlongwane in Bergville.

His majesty of aMangwane, and the All Africa Cultural Organisation, proudly honoured Malinga, the Zulu warrior with a degree, for his outstanding victory against such a vastly experienced boxer in his own backyard.

In fact, Bergville in KwaZulu-Natal is where the Malinga clan is based. That is where Jabulani Malinga, the father and trainer of this hard-hitting WBC International champion was born.

Vus'Umuzi, a Nguni name which means revive the clan, and Jabulani were honoured in a ceremony that took place last weekend.

The event formed part of the Ntombi Nto Project (Reed Dance) which is aimed at protecting young women from contracting HIV-Aids.

"I am humbled by the king's gesture. It feels great to be honoured by him.

"I see this as a blessing for me which will see me through Hozumi Hasegawa when we fight for the WBC title," said the Katlehong, Ekurhuleni-based left-handed fighter.

Vus'Umuzi said the clash could take place either in November or December. Malinga destroyed Nakhonluang in just four rounds.

The Thai fighter, who boasted a massive record from 66 fights, 61 wins (45 KOs) and two losses before his defeat to Malinga, retired two weeks ago.