Jackie Gunguluza, seen here during his fighting days, has unearthed a gem in Mziwabantu Mbexeshi.
Image: Gallo Images

The influx of amateur boxing stars into the professional ranks has made it difficult to single out the brightest.

But overall their campaign in the paid ranks has made the future of the game look bright with many of them destined for big things.

From Sibusiso Bandla, Asanda Gingqi, Siyakholwa Khuse to mention but a few. The excitement over their presence is reaching fever pitch.

The latest to make his name is Mzwabantu Mbexeshi, who made his professional debut, in a MMT show in Mdantsane last weekend.

After dishing out heinous beating to Mzukisi Gxaleka dropping him in the first before putting him away for good in the second, he has suddenly shot to the front of the pack in the race of winning a national title.

The bantamweight star has solid technique and is blessed with blinding speed.

At one stage during the fight he threw six power punches mixing them well from the body to the head in a split second.

The 24-year-old is the product of Jackie Gunguluza’s campaign to unearth talent in obscure places.

Gunguluza discovered him In Santa informal settlement where he is refining him at Siyaqhuba Boxing Club.

Gunguluza, who works with seasoned boxing development enthusiast Noluvuyo “Maka Sinqobile” Joxo, predicts big things for the boxer.

Other members of the club are Happy Mgqibisa and Mzet Calu.

Joxo is renown for her sterling job of recruiting youth of the area to boxing including her daughter Sinqobile who is making waves in the amateur ranks.

Mbexeshi has been with the club for five years when he was still a kid.

“I have been with Mbexeshi since his amateur days,” he said.

“This boy has won everything there is to be won in the amateurs and now it is time he makes a run in the professionals.”

Indeed Mbexeshi’s amateur achievements include a bronze medal at 2017 Zone Four Games, participating at the African Boxing Confederation in Congo last year and a bronze medal at this year’s Zone Four champiopnships in Mozambique.

He was a strong member of the SA Boxing Team until he also decided to fight for pay.

Judging by the performance he displayed last weekend, it will not be long before Mbexeshi turns heads in the land.

Already Gunguluza is planning to unleash him in an eight-round bout against experienced former national junior-bantamweight champion Luzuko Siyo.

“He wants Siyo as we speak. I am a bit reluctant but if a boxer wants a certain opponent who am I to say no. After all confidence is the first attribute a boxer needs to display before he steps in the ring. This boy has loads of it.”

It has always been a tradition of boxing for a young boxer to call out a well-known name in order to introduce himself to the boxing scene.

Floyd Mayweather Jnr called out fading star Oscar de la Hoya to enhance his marketability.

Locally boxing legend Vuyani Bungu turned heads after beating the feared and experienced Saxon Ngqayimbana to set him off to world title conquest.

Everyone thought Duncan Village star Azinga Fuzile was crazy when he called out 33-fight veteran Macbute Sinyabi.

After a comprehensive win over Sinyabi, Fuzile became a household name.

Gunguluza feels Mbexeshi, who will move down to junior-bantamweight, is ready for an experienced boxer like Siyo.

If the fight materialises and Mbexeshi prevails, he will shoot up the national ratings and will come within a whisker of challenging newly crowned champion Athi Dumezweni who destroyed Lindile Tshemese in the main bout of last week’s show.

If everything falls into place, Mbexeshi could even eclipse Fuzile’s record of winning a national title in five professional bouts.

While detractors will dismiss Mbexeshi’s chances against Dumezweni due to the vast difference in experience if the fight were to take place in the next six months, Gunguluza says his charge has more tools in his arsenal than he showed against Gxaleka.

“People saw a glimpse of his skills because the bout was his first so he was little overwhelmed by the occasion. You will see just what this boy is made of as he continues to settle in the professional and relax in the ring.”

Yet another former amateur star looks set to make serious noise in the professional boxing scene and that should gets the fight game buzzing.

View Comments