Nontshinga promises 'something special’ when he defends title

Training in same gym with world champs motivates boxers

Sive Nontshinga, Asemahle Wellem, Bangile Nyangani and Lusizo Manzana will be in action on June 16.
Sive Nontshinga, Asemahle Wellem, Bangile Nyangani and Lusizo Manzana will be in action on June 16.
Image: Hayden Jones

The feeling of being in the same gym with a celebrated boxing champion motivates not only his team mates but also boxers from other stables.

That was the case yesterday at the HotBox Gym in Balfour, east of Johannesburg, where IBF junior flyweight world champion Sivenathi “The Special One” Nontshinga is preparing for the first defence of his crown against Reggie Suganob from the Philippines on June 16.

Nontshinga is trained by his father Thembani Gopheni and Colin “Nomakanjani” Nathan. 

The gym was buzzing. Some boxers came for sparring while others were there to train. It is a similar set-up to Floyd Mayweather Junior's gym in Las Vegas in the US where trainers from different stables hone the skills of their fighters.

At Nathan's gym there was Alan Toweel Junior, Phumzile Matyhila and Errol Safy. Toweel was with his fighter, reigning national mini flyweight Bangile Nyangani, while Matyhila came with SA super middleweight holder Asemahle Wellem. 

Gopheni's other charge Lusizo Manzana was also there. Nathan's fighter Lerato Dlamini was there too, as were Xolisani Ndongeni and Deejay Kriel.

Nyangani, Manzana, Wellem and Dlamini will share the ring with Nonshinga in Rumble Africa Promotion's tournament in East London on June 16.

Nyangani will bid for the third defence of his national belt against Siyakholwa Kuse while Manzana will face SA junior bantamweight holder Ronald Malindi. Wellem will welcome Congolese Alex Kabangu for the vacant IBF Africa belt.

The aforementioned fighters made it clear that being in the same gym with the county's only credible world champions motivated them.

Nyangani said: “I am going down to win my fight; the belt will remain with me. I have waited so long for this fight against Kuse because he challenged me a long time ago. I am going to East London to do my corrections.”

The “Predator” Wellem said he will add the IBF belt to his collection. “There is no doubt about that,” he said. “Kabangu will get knocked for the first time in his career.”

Manzana who calls himself "Speedfire” said: “Malindi has no choice but to face me; no one did me a favour. I fought hard to be in this position. He's a good boxer but there is nothing special about him. I will be better than him on the day of the fight.”

Nontshinga, who had six rounds of sparring with Sikho “Sequence” Nqothole, said: “I am going to bring the show that everybody won't forget. I respect Reggie like any other boxer but this is my time to shine and I believe I have not even reached my prime. People must come in big numbers to see 'the Special' doing something special for them.”

Would you like to comment on this article?
Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.