a thai battle
South African super featherweight kick boxing champion Jeremia Makhetha is frustrated at the lack of interest in the sport in South Africa, and is desperately looking for sponsorship for a trip to Thailand.
This Sowetan, who is nicknamed "Jet Lee", won the title from Lucky Sefatsa, who he beat again in his only title defence in three years.
Makhetha, who boasts 20 wins against three defeats, says he is unable to fulfill his dream of becoming a household name. He adds that lack of action also denies him the right to earn a living.
"I am humbly requesting sponsorship for my planned trip to Thailand, which is the home of kick boxing. I believe I should be there in order to showcase my skills and be a good ambassador for both my country and the sport," said Makhetha who has become a personal aerobics instructor in his gym in Moletsane to make ends meet.
"It has dawned on me that kick boxing is not taken seriously here. I am the national champion, for three years for that matter, but who knows me and what do I have to show for that achievement?"
He revealed that even when he fights, something that happens once a year if he is lucky, he gets paid a meagre purse of R5000, of which 25 percent goes to his trainer Moseto Mphaphathi.
"Administrators are looking after their pockets," said Makhetha who last fought on August 18 in Durban where he suffered what he termed a "dubious" decision to Jay Cornelson.
"I should be a world champion by now.
The 31-year-old fighter said he joined the sport at the age of 12.
Makhetha will be in action against Bongani Letsoalo in Fourways on October 11.