khanyile on the ropes

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

It does not rain but pours for boxing trainer Eugene Khanyile.

The school teacher will face Boxing SA in a hearing on October 13 for allegedly using a hardening agent when bandaging the hands of his fighter, Edward Mpofu, two weeks ago.

Now one of his fighters, Thomas "Merciless" Mashaba, has ended their nine-year marriage and teamed up with Nick Durandt.

Mashaba, who has been under Khanyile's mentorship since March 8 1999, confirmed yesterday that he has joined Durandt's productive camp that is already bursting at the seams.

"I cannot stay without action while waiting for Khanyile's case. I am not getting younger and besides, I need to make a living," said the soft-spoken former South African and International Boxing Organisation (IBO) junior feather and featherweight champion.

Mashaba, 34, a locomotive driver at Wesdriefontein Gold Mine in North West is sponsored by Gold Fields, who according to a reliable source want nothing to do with Khanyile.

This is because of the serious allegations that could see Khanyile and Mpofu face criminal charges for intent to commit grievous bodily harm.

If found guilty by Boxing SA they face bans while similar findings by a court of law could see them get jail terms.

Several attempts to get hold of Khanyile on his cellphone for his comment on Mashaba's departure drew a blank.

Mashaba registered two defences of the national title he won in 2003, and four defences of the IBO junior featherweight strap he won via a ninth-round stoppage of Zolani Marali in 2004.

He did not defend the IBO junior featherweight belt. He vacated it after ending the illustrious career of legendary Vuyani "The Beast" Bungu for the IBO's featherweight belt in 2005.

Mashaba lost the title to Mexican Cristobal Cruz on March 7 in the US in what was his second defeat against 20 wins (12 kos) and four draws.

Their mentor vowed to get Mashaba the chance to reclaim the IBO junior featherweight belt.