Triple blow for fight fraternity

Boxing has been hit with three deaths in the space of a week and that is unprecedented for the sport in the land.

The first to go was legendary ring official Len Hunt who died after undergoing a surgery for hernia.

Isaac Chilemba

Hours later former SA light-heavyweight champion Freddy Rafferty followed suit.

Rafferty was renowned for his battle of attrition with Sakkie Horn in the late 1980s.

After coming short against Thulani Malinga in the SA light-heavyweight title challenge, having fallen agonising close previously when he fought to a draw against Sakkie Enslin, he moved up to the cruiserweight where he finally laid his hands on the belt.

But it took him 12 fights to ascend the throne before being dethroned by Leornard Freedman only to avenge the defeat and regain the crown.

Rafferty would retire with a respectable record of 48 fights with 14 losses and two draws.

Closer to home revered boxing trainer and lone trailblazer in Stutterheim Mbulelo Nongqayi also died this week after a long battle with diabetes.

Former Eastern Cape junior-lightweight champion Dumisani Mofu who is the head trainer at Nongqayi’s gymnasium All Stars Boxing Club in Mlungisi township described his death as a great loss.

“Bra Mbu took his money and even used his taxis to transport boxers to fights free of charge,” he said.

“I am shuddering to think what will happen to our boxers now that he is no more.”

Among the boxers training at the club are Vusumzi Bhivo, veteran Mbuyiselo Besta and Olwethu Mantile.

However the star of the club is amateur youngster Anele Komna who is a multiple SA champion and is on the verge of breaking through the SA Amateur Boxing Team.

“Bra Mbu moved heaven and earth to make sure that Anele was well looked after,” said Mofu.

Nongqayi will be buried tomorrow in Stutterheim.


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