Toto Helebe gets a chance to relaunch his career

Ex-champ lost SA title due to inactivity

Toto Helebe and Cebo Ngema during their SA title bout at Orient Theatre in East London.
Toto Helebe and Cebo Ngema during their SA title bout at Orient Theatre in East London.
Image: Michael Pinyana

Battle-marked veteran boxer Toto Helebe has been given the platform to relaunch his career, especially after losing the South African bantamweight title in the boardrooms due to inactivity.

“Gugs Gang”, as this 36-year-old from Gugulethu is known, will be in action at KwaNokuthula Community Hall in Plettenberg Bay on Saturday afternoon. He will take on inexperienced Bheki Mahlangu over eight rounds of what will be the main supporting bout of Isizwe Boxing Promotions of  promoter and prince Ntsikayezwe Sigcawu from the AmaXhosa kingdom.

Mahlangu, the Johannesburg-based Mpumalanga boxer, will be accompanied by trainer George Khosi because his trainer Charity Mukondeleli will be at Ingwenyama Lodge, White River, in Mpumalanga with WBF International junior featherweight champion Thato “Captain Charisma” Bonokoane who will welcome Tanzanian Said Chino over eight rounds in TLB Boxing promotion’s tournament on Saturday afternoon.

Helebe is vastly experienced and competent fighter who by right should have no difficulty in dispatching Mahlangu within the short distance. In his last five fights, he lost the first two to Bongani Mahlangu and Jhon Gemino, but bounced back to register three consecutive wins against Cebo Ngema, Mbulelo Dyani and Pfariso Neluvhulani. Helebe has 20 wins in 27 fights, while Mahlangu has won four of his 10 fights.

Sigcawu’s main bout pits Bongani Silila – the former SA junior flyweight champion – against Nwabisile Cholani. Silila’s reign ended in 2018 to Nhlanhla Tyirha and the former champion has not fought since 2019. On the other hand, Cholani lost to Sphamandla Baleni for the national junior flyweight title on May 21.

Said Sigcawu: “There is still a lot to offer from Toto and Bongani; all they need is to be kept busy. I must say it has been a mission to put this tournament together; I had to change it after many boxers pulled out after I had postponed it twice. Some would complain of injuries; basically unfinished stories but luckily I was able to find replacements; but we are ready now. I am happy that finally boxing will be the winner.”

Sigcawu said action from his six bout card will begin at 1pm.

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