Munyai takes 27-day gamble

30 June 2010 - 02:00
By Bongani Magasela

TWENTY-SEVEN days is just not enough time for any boxer to prepare for an opponent.

TWENTY-SEVEN days is just not enough time for any boxer to prepare for an opponent.

Isaac Hlatshwayo tried it and lost the IBF welterweight title to Jan Zaveck.

Now Tshifhiwa "Atomic Spider" Munyai is in a similar situation. He is scheduled to fight at a box-and-dine tournament on July 28 but he does not yet know who his opponent will be.

Promoters Rodney Berman and Jeff Ellis will jointly present this tournament at Emperors Palace with the aim of raising funds for Sibusiso Mogale, a talented swimmer who was born without arms.

Berman and Ellis hope to raise funds to buy prosthetic arms for Mogale, a gold medallist in the Open Water Swim in England.

They are determined to make this box-and-dine an event to be remembered and have announced a line-up of twinkling fighters such as Johnny "Hurricane" Muller, Florante "Demolition Man" Simba and Joey Stiglingh. Munyai, the WBA Intercontinental bantamweight champion, will top the programme. But his title will not be at stake.

Sowetancalled Munyai and trainer Elias Tshabalala yesterday to check if Berman and Ellis had found an opponent for the champ.

"I don't care and I am not even bothered who we fight," Tshabalala said. "Munyai is a rare breed and with time you will see that. Whether Rodney and Jeff bring a southpaw or an orthodox (fighter) does not bother us."

The usually soft-spoken fighter suddenly emerged from his shell: "I go to the gym every day to improve my eyesight, speed and timing.

"So, anybody can come but I will be happy if it is a top-rated South African. Local shootouts are good every now and again."