Tree accident claims boxer Ndou's life

Michael Phiri is mourning his boxer Balanganani Ndou.
Michael Phiri is mourning his boxer Balanganani Ndou.
Image: Matome Lebea

Emotions got the better of Michael Phiri when he shared the pain he feels over his fallen boxer Balanganani Ndou.

Phiri, who was known as "Bonecrusher" during his days as a professional boxer, said the 35-year-old Ndou from Nweli in Venda, was killed by a tree on Sunday.

"His day job was cutting trees for people in Venda. I was informed that he cut one tree on Sunday and it fell on him and he died on the spot," said Phiri yesterday.

"This man was a bread winner for his wife and three children. What is going to happen to his family now that he is gone? This really hurts."

Phiri, who retired as a boxer in 2011, said he last spoke to his charge three days ago.

"He was going to assist me in training boxers because he failed a brain scan test in June last year when he was to fight Ayabonga Sonjica in the Eastern Cape," said Phiri.

Thizwilondi Nemapandoni, who was the last man to face Ndou in the ring when they fought and drew for the Limpopo title at Community Hall in Makhado in 2017, also shared Phiri's sentiments.

"I am hurting, and life has actually taught me that good people do not last long," he said.

"Ndou was not the type of boxers who talked too much. He did not smoke or drink. Yes, I fought against him because boxing is our job. At one stage we trained together in Johannesburg. He was a decent guy."

Ndou turned pro under Nick "Mthakathi" Durandt before he teamed up with Charles Mabunda. The boxer then went back home to join his previous trainer, who later passed on, and Ndou joined Phiri who guided him to five wins and a draw.

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