manny rebuilds

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Top boxing mentor Emmanuel "Manny" Fernandez has resorted to what he knows best - nurturing the unnoticed talent of young fighters.

This soft-spoken gentleman, who hones the skills of boxers at his BRD gym at Wembley Arena, south of Johannesburg, is credited with the successes of Isaac Hlatswayo, Malcolm Klassen and Oscar Chauke as well as the resurrection of the waning career of Simon Ramoni.

Hlatswayo won the SA and IBO junior lightweight and welterweight belts under Fernandez while Klassen won the IBF junior featherweight strap, and Chauke, who was dismissed by other trainers as a no hoper, also won both the SA and the WBF junior featherweight belts.

Ramoni, whose career had seemingly reached a cul-de-sac, came back to win the national junior bantamweight belt which he defended six times before surrendering it to Zolile Mbityi in 2006.

Hlatswayo and Klassen bolted from Fernandez's camp and teamed up with Nick Durandt while Chauke, who still holds the WBF belt which he has defended once against Sergio Carlos Santillan, is still part of the BRD camp.

Fernandez, who has a heart as big as a mountain, has started all over again in his pursuit to produce future world champions.

Doubling as a boxing promoter, Fernandez will stage a development tournament at Turffontein Racecourse on November 6, in conjunction with Bull Brand and Maiden Electrical.

His young starlets, Sello Mzobe from Umlazi in Durban, Wandile Mseleku from Ntuzuma, also in Durban, Mthobisi Buthelezi from Umsinga in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, Jason Bederman from Gauteng as well as female fighter Sandra Almeida from Durban, will feature prominently.

Fernandez's eight-bout card dubbed "Parade of Young Lions" will be a box-and-dine tournament.

He announced that tickets will sell at R300 a person and that includes a three-course meal. Action will start at 7.30pm.