Death robs South African boxing of unassuming trainer and promoter

South African boxing is poorer following the passing of deferential giant Sam Monane.

The unassuming boxing trainer and promoter‚ owner of Alexandra Boxing Promotions‚ died on December 24.

The 88- years-old Monane had been ill for quiet some time and he finally succumbed to illness on Christmas Eve.

Monane's contribution to boxing largely went under the radar but Gauteng veteran’s chairperson Peter Ngatane sought to change that and said the role he played should be acknowledged.

“Bra Sam contributed a lot to the upliftment of black youth‚" Ngatane said.

“Bra Sam became a promoter after realising that his fighters were not getting fights.

"He went on to become a force to be reckoned with as a promoter‚ something he did very well as a trainer. May his soul rest in peace.”

Monane took young boys from the streets of Alexandra during the dark days when gangsterism was the order of the day and took great pride in moulding them into boxers at his Jersey Joe Gym in Alexandria.

He succeeded in turning some of them into household names.

Some of the top names he shaped into champions include; James “Dynamite” Mathatho‚ Enoch “Schoolboy” Nhlapho‚ Levi “Golden Boy” Madi‚ Mike “Ta Baby” Ramagole‚ Anthony “Blue Jaguar” Morodi‚ Steve Khotle‚ Dingaan “Rose of Soweto” Thobela‚ Ditau ”Diarora" Molefyane as well as the Sithebe brothers - Johannes’ Slashing Tiger” and Thomas “Homicide” Sithebe.

Monane was honoured with the King Korn award in 1989‚ an accolade that was awarded to the boxing personality of the year at the time.

He contributed enormously to the community and also managed to change the lives of youngsters whose lives could have taken a wrong turn had he not intervened.

As a promoter he staged many big fights‚ including the Gauteng welterweight championship between Mbulelo “Hamba Dompaas” Ndlazi and Danny Myburgh at Don Mateman’s Hall in Eldorado Park on March 13‚ 1989.

Ndazi from Meadowlands stopped Myburgh in the seventh round.

The last championship fight Monane staged was the SA junior middleweight fight between reigning champion William Gare and Pascal Mntungwa at Rabasotho Hall in Tembisa on April 2‚ 2000.

Gare from Meadowlands in Soweto pulverised Mntungwa from Clermont in Durban into submission in seven rounds.

His Jersey Joe Gym will always hold a special place in the hearts of those who called it home in the good old days.

Monane named the gym after American boxing icon Jersey Joe Walcott‚ a US fighter who held the world heavyweight title from 1951 to 1952.

Walcott held the distinction of being the oldest man to win the world title time when he became champions at the age of 37.

Monane was born in Walmanstaal in Ga-Moima‚ just outside Pretoria‚ on August 7‚ 1928.

His wife died in 2002 and he is survived by six children.

He will be buried in Temba‚ Hammnaskraal‚ North West‚ on Saturday.

The service will be held at Anglican Church in Temba. - TMG Digital