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Welcome Ncita focuses on developing new stars

Welcome Ncita won the IBF junior featherweight title in 1990./Mark gleeson/Gallo Images
Welcome Ncita won the IBF junior featherweight title in 1990./Mark gleeson/Gallo Images

Welcome "Hawk" Ncita is focusing his energy on the amateur boxing ranks, because he wants to contribute in taking boxing to where it belongs as the second most-supported sporting code in the country.

In order to achieve that goal, Ncita, who was the first world boxing champion from Mdantsane, says the amateur ranks have got to be very strong.

Ncita, who won the IBF junior featherweight title in 1990, mentioned Thulani Malinga, Lehlohonolo Ledwaba and Mzonke Fana as his allies.

He said they discuss boxing development with the view - shared by the SA Boxing Federation - that trainers or coaches who start honing the skills of fighters from the amateurs must continue with them even in the professional ranks.

International Amateur Boxing Association is against it. It wants amateurs to remain separated from the professionals, yet professional fighters participated in the Rio 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

A decision is to be made regarding their inclusion in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Malinga from Ladysmith is the first local pugilist in history to win the WBC title.

Ledwaba held the same IBF belt Ncita lost to Kennedy McKinney in 1992.

Ncita's stablemate, Vuyani Bungu, won it back from McKinney in 1997, and relinquished it after 13 defences. Ledwaba won it in 1999 and the Sowetan lost it to Manny Pacquiao in 2001.

Fana is the former two-times IBF junior lightweight champion from Khayelitsha in Cape Town.

Ncita retired in 1998. He wants to unearth the likes of Gabula Vabaza and Mhikiza Myekeni, the rough diamonds he turned into household names before they were taken away from him by more monied trainers.

"It's not a quick-fix, but a process that will take time," he said.

"My role model was Nkosana Mgxaji and I wanted to be like him. That mentality and his style helped me against Frabrice Benichou for the IBF title. I also employed it in America when I started fighting there."

Ncita, 53, spent quality time with US trainer Luther Burgess at the famed Kronk Gym of Emmanuel Steward.

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