Joyi hits the road to revive his career as he weighs options for new trainer

Mdantsane boxing hero Nkosinathi Joyi has uprooted to Johannesburg in a bid to revive his boxing career.

NEW PASTURES: Nkosinathi Joyi has returned to Johannesburg where he is looking to revive his boxing career. He is yet to make a decision on which boxing club he will join Picture: BAFANA MAHLANGU

Joyi, who has not fought since losing a gutsy points decision to Simpiwe Konkco for the IBO mini-flyweight title last November, is yet to decide on which boxing trainer he will join in Johannesburg.

“For now we are assessing the situation before deciding on what to do,” said Joyi’s adviser Siyolo Dabula who sent the left-hander up to Johannesburg.

“He is settling in well for now and is trying to get into shape.”

There were reports linking Joyi to trainer Damean Durandt. who is the son of the late Nick Durandt.

Having taken over the reins of the club, Durandt jnr has been steadily building the stable including the signing of Mthatha boxer Athi Dumezweni.

But Dabula said no decision had been taken in that regard as yet.

Joyi turned down a fight against Deejay Kriel with the WBC mini-flyweight crown at stake.

The fight was scheduled in two weeks’ time and although Joyi was informed of it a good five weeks he said he was not in good physical condition to take it.

“We could not take the Kriel fight because let’s be honest Joyi is not the gym freak.”

There have been reports on Joyi leading a wayward lifestyle but Dabula declined to confirm that this influenced him to bring the boxer up to Johannesburg.

Now 34 years old, Joyi is winding down his career hence he does not want to take risky fights if he was not fully prepared, according to Dabula.

One of the best boxing talents to emerge from Mdantsane did not fulfil his potential due to a combination of factors including bad management.

Along with long spells of inactivity which adversely affected his stand as the best in the world, Joyi ended up fighting once a year until rust accumulated and affected his attributes.

He lost his IBF crown in a seven-round stoppage defeat upset to unheralded Mexican Mario Rodriguez in 2012 ending his tenure as the best mini-flyweight in the world.

While the boxer is headed for the exit door, Dabula said there were still plenty of fights left for Joyi to get involved in.

“There are still endless possibilities for Joyi including a national title challenge as well as others,” he says.

In fact Joyi’s fight against reigning champion Siphamandla Baleni is a highly anticipated affair which would draw a full house in East London.

With Kriel now fighting Thembani Okolo of Port Elizabeth in a non-title bout, Joyi is hoping that a clash may still happen down the line.

The fight was to form part of the Featherweight Super 4 series but fight promoter Rodney Berman is already organising the finals of the series for next February where the Kriel-Joyi bout may be slotted in.

“We would gladly take the bout if it were to be held next February,” said Dabula. — Boxing Mecca