SA's youngest trainer bitten by boxing bug

Seasoned boxing trainer Lionel Hunter and his assistant trainer 18-year-old Grade 11 student Tamrin Raynor with their charge Lebo Mashitoa after his win recently.
Seasoned boxing trainer Lionel Hunter and his assistant trainer 18-year-old Grade 11 student Tamrin Raynor with their charge Lebo Mashitoa after his win recently.
Image: Nick Lourens

The boxing bug has found its teenage victim, a girl who has become SA's youngest licensed professional boxing trainer.

This follows the drive by Boxing SA's women in boxing committee to recruit more women into the historically male-dominated sport.

The new recruit is Tamrin Raynor from Boksburg, Ekurhuleni, who has been a professional licensee since March. The Grade 11 pupil works with Lionel Hunter - a former professional boxer and trainer - whose gym is in Booysens, south of Jozi. His brother adopted her when she was young

Hunter's stable boasts a number of boxers including recently crowned Musangwe junior welterweight champion Clement "Slow Poison" Kamanga, national lightweight female champion Ndobayini Kolosa and woman hot prospect Smangele "Smash" Hadebe.

Raynor says the boxing bug infected her at 15. "I was basically just there in the background, watching and it kind of got to me, and I fell in love with the sport. Honestly, I then wanted to box at the time as an amateur but that did not happen."

She kept following the sport and fell in love with the training part. "She is madly in love with boxing and she is with me in the gym morning and afternoon," said Hunter. "She is learning a lot . She helps me. I need her because I am from the old school. She brings fresh and new ideas."

But Raynor had to wait until she turned 18 to qualify to be a seconder. "I enjoy being in the corner with my uncle [Hunter] and in the gym with him," she says. "I basically assist him."

She also barks instructions. "You must see me in the corner, I mean serious business. I may be young, as most people say, but I am for real." She actually lives with her mum Judy but spends most of her time with Hunter's family.

"They have taken me as their own child. I would love to open my own gym when I grow older, train women because I would like to see more of them getting into boxing ."

Hunter's wife Shereen is one of the top female boxing promoters in the country whose hard work, love and dedication earned her BSA's 2017 most promising female promoter of the year award in January.

BSA's chairperson of women in boxing Zandile Kabini said: "We are delighted to introduce our youngest female licensee. According to the objective of the committee, we are striving to recruit as much female licensees from all races as possible."

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