Malinga bemoans state of KZN boxing

Iconic former world boxing champion Thulani "Sugar Boy" Malinga is heartbroken over the current state of boxing in KwaZulu-Natal.

"I honestly do not have proper words to describe what has become of our province," said the distraught 61-year-old who is based in Steadville, Ladysmith.

Malinga was the first local fighter to capture the sought- after WBC belt.

The exodus of fighters - including IBO flyweight champion Moruti Mthalane - to Johannesburg has contributed to the death of boxing in KZN.

The province was revered for producing super champions like Joseph Sishi, Joe Ngidi, Elijah Makhathini and Maxwell Malinga. Currently it only boasts national middleweight champion Christopher Buthelezi.

"There are no promoters, especially in Ladysmith, and as such, chances of producing champions are zero," said Malinga, who is honing the skills of four aspirant fighters.

"I groomed them through the programme I started in schools. They are already professional fighters but there is no action."

Malinga is pinning his hopes on former promoter Rodney Berman to give his boxers action.

One bright spot for KZN was Durban fighter Siboniso Gonya's recent victory over Namibian Immanuel Naidjala for the WBO Intercontinental bantamweight belt in Namibia.