Fan favourite Xolisani “Nomeva” Ndongeni cannot wait to get into the ring and prove his worth in front of the Americans two weeks after leaving to join a top US gymnasium.
The KwaBhaca-born boxer, who honed his boxing skills in Duncan Village, left to train at the Floyd Mayweather gymnasium a fortnight ago.
The move ended a frustrating spell for the boxer, who saw his world title aspirations fizzle out owing to several demoralising issues outside the ring.
This when Ndongeni was not paid his R1-million prize money for winning the defunct Premier Boxing League (PBL) two years ago.
As if that was not enough his dream move to join Colin Nathan’s HotBox gymnasium and promoter Rodney Berman in Johannesburg proved to be a nightmare as he was blighted by inactivity, forcing to him to terminate his association with them.
Now Ndongeni is training in the US and, judging by the pictures he has been posting on social media, he appears to be having a ball.
Ever a socialite, Ndongeni has already met the who’s who of the boxing industry, including legendary Hall of Famer Thomas Hearns.
As he is training at the gymnasium owned by Floyd Mayweather he is freely mingling with Floyd’s father Floyd Mayweather Senior, who is the chief trainer at the club.
Ndongeni has already engaged in sparring sessions at the famed club.
But there is one session he says took the cake for him.
This when a Mexican boxer was brought to spar with him just when Ndongeni was wrapping up another sparring session he had had with other boxers.
“He came when I was tired but I agreed,” he said.
“I held back a little because I had already sparred so he got the better of me. One could see the excitement in his face for what he thought was a whopping.”
With sparring sessions in the US increasingly becoming a big issue, leading to some stars taking video footage such as what Conor McGregor did to boxers who helped him before his megafight with Mayweather, the Mexican boxer brought a big contingent with cameras for the next session.
“You would have seen the large contingent he brought together with cameras to record the session thinking that he would continue with beating me like he thought he did in the first session,” Ndongeni said.
“But this time I gave him a hiding forcing his entourage to stop the recording midway.”
Ndongeni says he cannot wait to step into the ring to prove his mettle eagainst tough opposition.
The lightweight division in which he campaigns is laden with talent, and Ndongeni will not run short of opposition.
The universally recognised best lightweight in the world, Jorge Linares, was in action last weekend when he retained his WBA, WBC diamond and Ring Magazine belts with a decision win over English Olympic gold medal winner, Luke Campbell.
There are also top boxers such as Mikey Garcia, who holds the WBC title as well as IBF king Robert Easter Jr and WBO monarch Terry Flanagan, who Ndongeni has been itching to challenge to avenge the defeat of his homeboy Mzonke Fana.
But Ndongeni’s inactivity has seen him forfeit his lofty second spot in the WBA ratings and, until he gets back in the ring, his world title dreams will remain just that. — Boxing Mecca