Trainer Hunter's star on rise

Lebo Mashitoa connects with a straight right to the head of Keaton Gomes. Mashitoa beat Gomes for the Gauteng title.
Lebo Mashitoa connects with a straight right to the head of Keaton Gomes. Mashitoa beat Gomes for the Gauteng title.
Image: Nick Lourens

Retired middleweight and light-heavyweight professional boxer Lionel Hunter has quietly made a name for himself as a trainer in a short space of time.

In June last year, he produced a Gauteng champion in Paul "The Wolfman" Mangxilana.

Six months later, Hunter guided supposedly washed-out 38-year-old Walter "Black Mamba" Dlamini to a history-making national middleweight championship.

Dlamini's 42-second demolition of Wade Groth became the shortest title fight in the history of local boxing.

Just last week, Hunter helped the nominee for Boxing SA's 2018 Prospect of the Year Award, Lebo Mashitoa, to win the Gauteng cruiserweight belt against Keaton Gomes.

That win - Mashitoa's seventh in eight fights - was spoiled by one judge.

On October 4, Hunter will be at Malamulele Boxing Club where Mangxilana will challenge WBA Pan African junior-lightweight champion Sibusiso "Spook" Zingange.

The title bout will be the main event in the maiden tournament of Prenomen Chabalala's Tsatsa Promotions.

Rofhiwa "War Child" Maemu and Koos "The Great Last Warrior" Sibiya will meet over 10 rounds.

Don van Heerden and Tsako Nyambo will feature in the middleweight class over four rounds.

Hunter fought and beat the likes of South African cruiserweight champion Freddie Raferty before he retired in 1986 with 12 wins, five losses and a draw.

He began training fighters on a small scale until he decided to go big few years back after his wife, Shereen, obtained a boxing promoter's licence under Unleashed Combat Sport.

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