Ex-champ Makaringe is broke

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Joseph Makaringe is penniless.

The former South African welterweight king, who abdicated his throne after 10 defences, broke the shocking news yesterday.

Sowetan had contacted him in reaction to rumours that Makaringe was mentally ill.

"No, I am not mad. I am just down and out financially," he said.

Asked what happened to his supposed loot from 10 defences, Makaringe said collectively he could have made around R180 000 after all the deductions.

"I also fought twice outside the country and I was paid R25000 and R70000, also after deductions."

But Makaringe is not bitter with boxing.

"Boxing changed my life for the better because I built an eight-roomed house," said the BComm graduate. "I paid for my fees with money from boxing."

This outstanding 33-year-old pugilist from Giyani, affectionately known as "Smokin' Joe", was trained by Nick Durandt.

Makaringe represented boxing with aplomb for 12 years, retiring in March due to a cataract, or growth, in his right eye.

It was operated on in 2003 but got worse in 2005, he said.

Makaringe fought twice in that year, defeating Welcome Ntshingila (TKO 6) and Ghanaian Philip Kotey (TKO 11).

He followed up with two fifth round stoppages of Phumlani Menziwa and Ishmael Tetteh the following year.

Makaringe lost the WBC International belt in 2006 to Alpaslan Aguzum in Germany.

He had been on a winning streak for five years until his first defeat in 2000 in Denmark for the IBF Inter-Continental welterweight title. The second was in 2001 against Jan Bergman.

Makaringe's last fight was in May last year when he was outpointed by Isaac Hlatshwayo for the IBO welterweight belt.

"There is a project that I am busy with," said this gentle giant who remained humble despite his monumental successes in the ring where he won 30 fights (25 KOs) and lost four.

A razor-sharp counter-puncher with a granite chin, he might have become a multi-division champion.

Durandt and Makaringe's promoter, Branco Milenkovic, were not available for comment.