Three trainers line up for top boxing award

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Boxing mentors Colin Nathan, Jabulani Malinga and Lennox Mpulampula have done pretty well throughout the year and are deservedly in line for Boxing SA's Trainer of 2008 Award.

Yours truly tips 30-year-old Nathan to win the award. Nathan achieved great results with young and inexperienced fighters who have since become stars. They are Jared Lovett, Hekkie Budler, Grant Fourie, Owethu Mbira, Charlie Weyers, Ashley Dlamini, Joey Stiglingh as well as former Beijing Olympian Jackson Chauke.

Budler, Fourie and Weyers turned professional last year while Lovett, Mbira, Dlamini, Stiglingh and Chauke graduated from the amateur ranks this year.

None of these youngsters has lost a fight to date. Lovett and Budler are both on the verge of becoming superstars. Lovett is a firm favourite for the Prospect of 2008 Award.

Malinga and Mpulampula, both former fighters from Gauteng and Eastern Cape respectively, are grossly underrated despite their success.

Malinga made Cleutus Mbele eligible for nomination for the Prospect of the Year Award alongside Lovett and Budler. Malinga also guided his youngest son, Vusumuzi to a historic win in Thailand. He stopped the legendary Veeraphol Sahaprom in four rounds in June to earn the right to challenge WBC bantamweight kingpin, Japanese Hozumi Hasegawa.

Malinga was also in the corner when his second born, Patrick, relived Amon Baloyi of his SA lightweight belt in August.

Baloyi, from Nathan's stable, was hospitalised for two weeks following his 12th round stoppage by Patrick Malinga.

Mpulampula, on the other hand, guided Ludumo Galada, Lubabalo Msuthu and Themba Joyi in winning the WBF featherweight, bantamweight and SA junior bantamweight belts respectively.

Mpulampula has also helped Nkosinathi Joyi to chalk up two defences of his IBO mini flyweight title. Ludumo also won the SA title while under the tutelage of Mpulampula. He helped Themba to win the Baby Champs last year and the national belt last month.

Mpulampula had been with these fighters even before their successes. He trained them with Champion Bakubaku before the latter went solo.