The Rose has not wilted

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Three-time former world boxing champion Dingaan Thobela has hung up his gloves as a fighter but this celebrated pugilist, who was known as the "Rose of Soweto", still commands huge respect.

Work came to a standstill at Barloworld in Benoni this week when workers abandoned their activities to welcome Thobela.

The ex-champ, now a boxing promoter, and his associate Jeff Ellis of the Dingaan Thobela Knockout Boxing Promotions (DTKBP) were there to pay homage to owners of the company that manufactures hysters, forklifts and farming equipment for its financial injection into the duo's coming development tournament.

Their box-and-dine tournament will take place at the Theatre of Marcellus at Emperors Palace on July 29. Tables of 10 will sell at R3500. Some exclusive boxing memorabilia will be auctioned.

Thobela and Ellis announced that part of the proceeds will go TO Door of Hope, a home for unwanted babies in Glenvista.

"I wish other companies will take a leaf from your book. Your involvement has made it possible for us to be able to help the needy," Thobela told Barloworld representatives. "I hope this is only the beginning of bigger joint ventures between you and us."

General manager Rudolph Briedenhann said: "We are privileged to work with you in this venture. It's our philosophy to build people."

Two senior staff members of Barloworld, Basil "No Apologies" Ray and Victor Temlett, who are both professional boxers, will be in action on the night.

Temlett will make his professional debut against Sipho Maabane while Ray will oppose Bull "The Bulldozer" Muravha for the right to challenge Osborne Machimana for the South African heavyweight belt.