Boxing trainer Bernie Pailman hit hard by national lockdown

Boxing trainer Bernie Pailman has had to close his Westside Boxing Academy in Westbury due to lockdown. / Antonio Muchave
Boxing trainer Bernie Pailman has had to close his Westside Boxing Academy in Westbury due to lockdown. / Antonio Muchave

Boxing trainer and businessman Bernie Pailman has bemoaned the loss of income since the national lockdown was put in place.

He still has to provide food for some of his boxers, including those that he has employed at his Beachway Motor Spares in Bosmont.

"The lockdown has brought about severe challenges to me," said the man who has produced national, international and world champions from his Westside Boxing Academy in Westbury where he is assisted by retired boxers Peter Faver and Charity Mukondeleli.

"As a boxing trainer, I try to motivate and encourage my team to keep active in their small places because we cannot go to the gym," he said.

"I encourage my team through a message of hope that this, too, shall pass like other diseases that we have come across in our lives before. I tell them to just hang in there and follow all the regulations and do what we all have been told to do to stay safe."

Some of his boxers stay at his house in Noordgesig in Soweto.

"I still have to provide food for them because they have nowhere else to depend on during these difficult times," he said.

"The financial strain has also been felt by all of us. It's hard to lose so much business momentum and finances. But what can we do? Life is more precious than anything because there is no workforce if lives are not saved."

The man who guided the likes of Baldwin Tshiakale (SA cruiserweight), Sipho Taliwe (SA and WBC International junior lightweight), Malcolm Klassen (IBO junior lightweight), Koos Sibiya (WBF Africa featherweight and ABU junior lightweight) and Ronald Malindi (SA and ABU bantamweight) victories has helped some of his boxers to get drivers licences.

"We had to close the gym due to the Covid-19 and we lost income there too," said Pailman.

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