Dad warned Phindile to quit

CRITICAL: Phindile Mwelase, left, in action against Ndobayini Kholose. Mwelase is in a coma at Steve Biko Hospital where she was admitted after Friday's defeat to Liz Butler Photo: Antonio Muchave
CRITICAL: Phindile Mwelase, left, in action against Ndobayini Kholose. Mwelase is in a coma at Steve Biko Hospital where she was admitted after Friday's defeat to Liz Butler Photo: Antonio Muchave

THE father of woman boxer Phindile Mwelase, who is in a coma after her knockout, used to plead with his daughter to quit the fistic sport.

Mwelase's younger sister, Delowaziyo, has described how she had phoned her father, a long-distance driver who is currently out of the country, to tell him Phindile was critically injured in hospital.

"I called our father [Thulani] and broke the news to him," said Delowaziyo, 20, who is doing practicals as a home-based care worker.

"He has always told Phindile to stop this boxing thing. She did not stop because she liked her boxing. He said he was disturbed at hearing the news, but he was far away. He will only see us when he comes back."

Mwelase underwent surgery to stem bleeding on the brain on Sunday, after being knocked out in the sixth round by Liz Butler on Friday night.

Her condition had remained unchanged by yesterday afternoon, a Boxing South Africa official said.

Their mother Buyisile is also very sick at Ladysmith Hospital in KwaZulu-Natal.

Delowaziyo recalled her first visit to see Phindile at Steve Biko Hospital in Pretoria.

"I called her name and she said nothing. Her eyes are closed," she said, fighting back the tears. "We got worried when time went past without her coming back on Friday night. I sent SMSes and she did not respond. I then called coach [Stanley Ndlovu] and he told me what had happened."

Phindile, the eldest of five siblings, four of them sisters, worked for a construction company when she was not in the boxing ring.

"She did men's work, breaking down walls. She is tough and she promised to win the fight on Friday."

Phindile, who will turn 31 on Monday, started boxing in 2007.

She left the family home at Mashiselweni in Ladysmith to move to Johannesburg in 2009.

She first joined trainer George Khosi before linking up with Ndlovu, who is also in a hospital in Johannesburg after being involved in a taxi accident on Monday.

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