Hunter keeps boxing passion burning
Shereen happy to continue work of fallen husband
Eight professional boxers, including recently crowned Gauteng cruiserweight champion Lebo Mashitoa, have remained with the Unleashed Combat stable despite owner and trainer Lionel Hunter's death.
The other pro boxers in the stable include Walter Dlamini, Paul Mangxilana, Siya Mabena, Jackson Masamba, Ndobayini Kholosa and Faustin Bukasa. Some of them are managed by Colleen McAusand, who scooped BSA’s 2018 manager of the year award.
Hunter’s wife Shereen, who is a boxing promoter, is keeping the fires burning in the gym. She is a successful businesswoman whose interests include a brand management agency.
“That sustains me,” she said. “If you love boxing, you will make sure that you have time for it and that is exactly what is happening with me despite my hectic schedule.”
Shereen said she has 25 years of experience in the corporate world. “I worked 14 years for Bidvest and the last eight years I’ve had my own businesses. I am committed to boxing.”
Shereen's late husband boxed professionally, campaigning in the middleweight and light-heavyweight division before quitting in 1986.
Lionel – who had established himself as one of the country’s respected boxing trainers – died in October last year. He helped Dlamini to fulfil his ambition of winning a SA title. The 38-year-old boxer had failed to win the middleweight belt in 2014. Dlamini finally won the domestic belt in 2018 and he did it in style – within 42 seconds. That was the shortest title fight in the history of local boxing.
Lionel was not in Dlamini’s corner when Nkululeko Mhlongo dethroned him in 2019.
Shereen, secretary of the Gauteng Boxing Promoters Association, said Andre van Heerden, Nicky Ness and Vusi Mtolo have taken over the training of her fighters.
Shereen described Van Heerden as a renowned injury prevention coach for various sporting codes, including rugby, soccer and athletics. Ness is a respected amateur boxing trainer who assists with physical fitness and teaching boxing basics. Mtolo is assistant to Colin Nathan but also has his own boxers.
Hunter, the four trainers and all the boxers will hold a planning camp this weekend. “It’s a camp where I want to share with all of them the big plans I have for this year before boxing tournaments begin taking place,” she said. "We are fortunate that all our boxers are still with us.”
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