Ndou gets into in Australia's Hall of Fame

Lovemore Ndou after the IBO welterweight title fight against Bongani Mwelase at Emperors Palace.
Lovemore Ndou after the IBO welterweight title fight against Bongani Mwelase at Emperors Palace.

It has taken Australia to appreciate and celebrate the achievements of former IBF junior-welterweight and IBO and WBF welterweight boxing champion, Lovemore "The Black Panther" Ndou, by nominating him for induction to its Hall of Fame.

South Africa - which is Ndou's country of birth - is still dilly-dallying on the establishment of a boxing hall of fame.

Australia adopted this gentle giant after he had gone there to fight Antonio Tunacao in 1996 and that country will actually induct Ndou in its structure housing memorials to famous or illustrious individuals usually chosen by a group of electors. The ceremony will take place in Melbourne on March 2.

Ndou was born in Musina and left for Australia for greener pastures. That country made it possible for him to better his life academically. Today, the 48-year-old retired boxer is not only a practising lawyer but he owns the Lovemore Lawyers firm in Sydney, New South Wales, where he has lived for 24 years.

Ndou is the first world champion boxer to graduate with seven university degrees, and is studying for a PhD in law.

"It's an honour to be recognised as having made a major contribution to Australian boxing in particular, bearing in mind that I was not born in this country," he said this week. "History also shows that I am the first Australian-based, African-born fighter to ever win a world title on Australian soil."

Ndou won the IBF strap on February 4 2007 after defeating Naoufel Ben Rabah at the State Sports Centre, Homebush Bay in Sydney.

"Australia allowed me to put my country of birth, South Africa, on the world map," said the proud South African who intends to come back home and be involved in politics.

"I believe this induction is the beginning of many big things to come for me. I always tell any aspiring young person I talk to that the life you live today dictates your future. I've worked hard.

"I will, however, be the first to acknowledge that I did not do it all on my own. This is the result of a collaborative effort of a team that worked together to achieve a common goal. That team involves all who worked with me throughout my career."

In that respect I would like to share the award that comes with the induction with everyone that has ever been part of my team."

There has been talk of a boxing hall of fame in SA to honour men and women who contributed to the sport.

A boxing hall of fame is part of BSA's five-year strategy.

BSA chairman Peter Ngatane said: "This is a rare accomplishment particularly for someone coming from a rural background. Lovemore is a shining example. We salute him."

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