Phillip a junior welter

PHILLIP "Time Bomb" Ndou is moving down to the junior welterweight division.

PHILLIP "Time Bomb" Ndou is moving down to the junior welterweight division.

Ndou, 32, made the announcement of his move to the 66,68kg class yesterday, five days after realising that he does not have the strength to hurt fully fledged welterweights.

It was clear he did not have the power to hurt the determined Lovemore Ndou in this division last Saturday night.

Yours truly wrung his hands in anguish when Lovemore pounded Phillip's head.

That was because I still have to be convinced that the cyst that halted Phillip's career in 2004 is completely healed.

"I spoke to my management about moving down to junior welterweight and we are all happy about it," he said yesterday.

Phillip was a top amateur and represented South Africa in the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.

He made his professional debut the following year under Nick Durandt. He won the SA junior featherweight (55,34kg) belt in his 13th fight in 1999.

The flamboyant fighter from Thohoyandou then moved up to the featherweight (57,15kg) division where he won the national and WBA Inter-continental titles.

Phillip, again, moved up to the junior lightweight (58,97kg) class and won the WBC International and WBU belts. He moved up again to lightweight (61,24kg) where Floyd Mayweather and Isaac Hlatshwayo defeated him.

The sensational Mayweather, an American fighter, stopped Phillip over seven rounds for the WBC strap in 2003 while Hlatshwayo outpointed him over 12 rounds the following year.

Phillip retired after the defeat by Hlatshwayo due the brain cyst. He made a comeback in February and won against Richard Drilzane in the junior welterweight (65,05kg) class. Brave by nature, Phillip gave his all, which was not enough to derail Lovemore. The defeat was Phillip's fourth among 32 wins (31 KOs).