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From a mediocre fighter, Dlomo fought his way to the top

Soweto boxer now earns six-figure purse monies

SA junior welterweight champ Prince Dlomo (black trunks) punishes Xolani Mcotheli en-route to his emphatic victory on Sunday.
SA junior welterweight champ Prince Dlomo (black trunks) punishes Xolani Mcotheli en-route to his emphatic victory on Sunday.
Image: Nick Lourens

Prince Dlomo was written off as a no hoper who must hang up his boxing gloves because he had become so accustomed to losing fights.

But today his name ranks among the country’s best boxers. That is purely because of that one chance that every person needs in life. It came when promoter Joyce Kungwane matched him with her fighter Xolisani Ndongeni for a non-title contest in Soweto in 2020.

That fight was meant to rebuild Ndongeni’s career – the SA and IBO and WBF lightweight champion – who had failed in his attempt to win both the WBC International and WBO Inter-Continental belts against Devin Haney in the US in 2019.

Dlomo, at that time, had lost 11 of his 22 fights. The supposed stepping-stone turned out to be Ndongeni’s worst nightmare. Dlomo knocked him out in round six. That was the turning point in Dlomo’s career. He went on to dethrone Xolani Mcotheli – a credible boxer –  as the SA junior welterweight champion. To some that victory was a fluke but Dlomo – under new trainer Charity Mukondeleli – retained his belt against Siseko Makeleni.

Mcotheli, on the other hand, fought his way back to contention for the title. They met for the second time under chilly conditions on Sunday.

Dlomo turned on the heat from the word go, making it extremely difficult for the challenger to adjust. Fighting in front of a big crowd including multi-award winning Afro-soul singer Zahara at Booysens Gym, Dlomo produced a performance that would have made him a perfect 10 if he was a number.

That was confirmed by the verdict, an unanimous decision after 12 rounds. That was his 15th win against 11 losses and a draw. “There was no way I was going to lose because my father (he attended the fight) told me that if I lose I must not come back home,” said the reigning champion from Mzimhlophe in Soweto.

Asked what is it that he had done right now compared to what happened early in his career, he said: “I accepted any fight in any division because I needed to earn some money to live. But I always told myself that if I get one chance against a top-name boxer just to show people that I am also good, but get enough time to prepare... I will shock them. It came against Xolisani and I grabbed it with both hands; that is why I am where I am today.”

Today, Dlomo earns six-figure purse monies and is a respected fighter.

Other results:

Catchweight 4 rounds: Andile Cindi and Thami Luthuli, draw

Flyweight 6 rounds: Theo Nxayiphi beat Khayalethu Mbedje, points

Catchweight: Sivenathi Nolawu beat Siyabonga Mabena, TKO 3

Bantamweight 8 rounds: Michael Daries beat Mawande Matroos, TKO 2

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