Adieu Thinus, you made your mark

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Boxing promoter Thinus Strydom bid a sad and emotional farewell last Friday.

His empire, built 20 years ago, produced household names and world beaters like Dingaan "The Rose of Soweto" Thobela.

It has now been taken over by King Thabathe, Thabang Segooa, Mikiro Ramphenyane and Eric Strydom (Thinus' son), who will retain the World Sports Promotions' banner.

His swan song was at Graceland Casino in Secunda, Mpumalanga.

A sad goodbye because Strydom's starlet Zack Mwekassa failed to introduce himself to the international boxing world by losing by TKO to Hungarian Jozsef Nagy for the WBF cruiserweight belt.

Strydom's future endeavour is to redirect the career of former IBF heavyweight champion, Francois "White Buffalo" Botha.

Emotional that the end saw a boxer, Hendry "Nsimbi" Ngubane, almost die due to dehydration.

I assume this because nobody is willing to talk. He is at Witbank General Hospital. But he said the boxing fraternity must not press panic buttons - "I will be okay", he said yesterday.

Ngubane collapsed in the sixth round against Norman Tshikawe. Ngubane's action left me baffled. This is the man who was a few centimetres away from registering a stoppage, then suddenly he is lying in a bed inside a hospital ward.

Yes, they exchanged heavy leather but Ngubane, in my eyes, landed the most telling blows. His trainer, Lawrence Ngobeni, would not talk to me yesterday, saying: "I am busy."

I know, you (reader) are saying "The government must ban this bloody brutal sport". No dice. I know this stems from the recent death and hospitalisation of boxers.