Eldos boxing bemoans lack of gyms

Boxing SA's 2016 female prospect of year Melissa Miller of Eldorado Park. Photo: Frennie Shivambu/Gallo Images
Boxing SA's 2016 female prospect of year Melissa Miller of Eldorado Park. Photo: Frennie Shivambu/Gallo Images

Gymless boxing trainer Isaac Wilson from Eldorado Park says hopes for assistance after his charge Melissa "Honey B" Miller won female prospect of 2016 at Boxing SA's awards in January are fading fast.

They still share a church hall with another trainer, retired former SA flyweight champion Johannes Miya.

He says Miller made history by becoming the first boxer from Eldorado Park to win an award.

Miller beat Nthabiseng Didi and Hedda Wolmarans for the award in Durban in January to pocket the R15000 prize money.

The first female boxer in the country to win that award was Noni "She Bee Stingin" Tenge, who shared the accolade with a male counterpart Chris "The Heat" van Heerden in 2008.

Tenge, like Miller, was training at a not-so-good gym which was later renovated by Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula.

Said Isaacs: "There are eight boxing clubs here in Eldorado Park but there is not even a single decent gym around. Eldorado Park has lots of football grounds, a tennis court which has since become a white elephant, as well as a cricket ground which has never been used.

"Quinton Ryan [former SA junior lightweight champion] trains amateur boxers in a corridor of a community centre's hall between toilets. All I am asking for is proper facilities for all trainers in the area."

Miller is hard at work in the gym, training for a Gauteng provincial bantamweight title fight against Smangele Radebe to be staged by Mbali "Don Queen" Zantsi in Kempton Park on March 11.

"We board taxis to Soweto for sparring. Imagine the stress. If we had our gym, surely that would have been different," said Wilson.

"I think that would have also encouraged other females to join the sport and in that way we would have had sparring partners."

Said Muller: "It is costly travelling to Soweto for sparring and back home when we should be having our own gym. There is nowhere you can go to in Eldorado with proper facilities."

Eldorado Park has produced many male boxing champions including Ryan and Gerald "Smasher" Isaacs. But Muller remains the only award-winning boxer.

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