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Tycoon swaps chalk for gloves

Boxing gloves
Boxing gloves

Innocent "Tycoon" Mantengu sacrificed a more lucrative career in teaching back home in Mtubatuba to pursue the more dangerous fistic career that has left many former practitioners of the sweet science with permanent brain damage from having absorbed too many blows.

Mantengu, 27, was a teacher at Silethukukhanya High School where he was educated. He is based in Malvern, eastern Johannesburg, where he stays with his trainer and homeboy - former professional boxer - Samson Ndlovu.

Mantengu returns home on Saturday to show that giving up the role of enlightening his community through education to represent it as a boxer is continuation of doing good for his community.

He will put his IBF All Africa junior featherweight title on the line against veteran Doctor Ntsele from Free State. The tournament will be staged by Thulani Magudulela's Ludonga Boxing Promotion at KwaMsane Hall in KwaMsane Township.

Mtubatuba has had only three other professional boxers - Thulani "Three Seconds" Nkwanyana, Ndlovu, Siboniso "Tiger" Gonya.

Nkwanyana is a renowned traditional healer while Gonya last fought in November when he failed to end the reign of WBO bantamweight champion Zolani "Last Born" Tete in their bout in Belfast.

Ndlovu said: "This tournament will be educational to parents regarding allowing their children to box. It will also encourage amateur boxing to grow even bigger, and that will in future see more professional boxers from Mtubatuba."

Mantengu said he read about Ntsele when Mantengu was still an amateur boxer.

"I prefer to leave the talking to my fists, but I can tell you that no one bull will allow the other to rule in its kraal," warned Mantengu.

He has 11 wins from 16 bouts while 35-year-old Ntsele lost 10 times in 32 bouts.

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