Dicing with death

CLOSE CALL: Amon Baloi and Patrick Malinga. Pic. Mohau Mofokeng. 10/08/08. © Sowetan.
CLOSE CALL: Amon Baloi and Patrick Malinga. Pic. Mohau Mofokeng. 10/08/08. © Sowetan.

Comment by Bongani Magasela

Comment by Bongani Magasela

Boxing suffered yet another blow on Saturday night at Johannesburg's Park Station when the life of another boxer was almost lost due to egos of Colin Nathan and Thabo Spampool.

Nathan holds a professional boxing trainers' licence while Spampool is an internationally recognised referee/judge.

Nathan never boxed but is understood to have learnt about pugilism from his father who is said to have honed skills of fighters while Spampool is a former professional fighter.

Nathan's growing knowledge, and the experience of Spampool, deserted them and Boxing SA must haul them before a disciplinary hearing.

Nathan's charge, Limpopo fighter Amon Baloyi, almost died simply because of a priceless South African lightweight belt.

Nathan, 30, failed himself as a growing productive mentor and the sport of boxing.

Spampool could be let off the hook slightly because it is not that easy to just stop a title fight but he could have consulted with the fight supervisor and take it from there.

Baloyi threw all the punches he knew but all counted for zero while Patrick Malinga delivered vicious punches straight to Baloyi's head knocking it violently back.

The deafening noise from fans, who appreciated action in the first six rounds, died from round seven. You could hear a needle fall.

Concern was written all over their faces. They called for a stoppage but the two people, who at that time were qualified persons to do that - Nathan and Spampool - just would not budge.

An exhausted Baloyi tripped and almost went down going for the 12th round - thanks to Spampool's alertness - he helped him to his corner and waved over, which was too late. Baloyi seemed to be having convulsions.

Last month Mdantsane fighter Samora Msophi died after surgery to remove blood clots from his brain. He had been punished unnecessarily by Mfundo Gwayana.