Boxing fraternity suffers double blow

The late former boxer and successful trainer Makwedinana Matiti. / supplied
The late former boxer and successful trainer Makwedinana Matiti. / supplied

In what could be described as a double blow to the already troubled sport of boxing and the general fight public, unheralded and yet successful trainer Makwedinana Matiti and veteran promoter Boy Mnyaka have passed on.

It was confirmed yesterday that Matiti, 51, of Mdantsane and Cape Town-based 63-year old Mnyaka both died on Sunday.

Promoter Ayanda Matiti, Makwedinana's brother, said: "He had a training session and later took a nap to relax. He never woke up. It is not even Covid-19 because he had done his tests and was negative."

Meanwhile, BSA board member Khulile Radu - who conveyed the message about the passing of Mnyaka - had no details regarding his death.

The two departed gentlemen boxed professionally before venturing into their new territories. Makwedinana, who was the SA champion in the amateurs, turned professional in 1990. He fought the likes of Anton Gilmore and Jackie Gunguluza before he quit in 2000 and began training boxers.

He produced SA and world champions including Lwandile Sityatha, who won the SA flyweight and IBO junior bantamweight and bantamweight belts; Makazole Tete, who captured multiple titles under his guidance; and Nhlanhla Tyirha, who won the SA junior flyweight title in his fourth pro fight.

Despite these feats, Makwedinana was not widely recognised in the sport.

Said Matiti: "When I established Xaba Promotions and Events in 2007, I also opened a boxing gym and Makwedinana was one of my trainers. He produced a number of SA, International and world champions. We are happy with the role he played as a trainer and also profiling our brand, the Xaba Promotions and Events."

Radu described Mnyaka as an enterprising contender of the generation of the 1970s, he "was handsome, flamboyant, suave and streetwise."

"Boy had an eye for the bird. An eccentric maverick who never minced words."

Makwedinana will be buried on Saturday while details for Mnyaka's funeral are yet to be confirmed.

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