Time to Hang up Your Gloves - by Bongani Magasela
There is nothing more painful in boxing
than witnessing a boxer who was
once a marvel to watch, forcing matters
when he should be sitting in the
stands as a spectator, because his
fighting days are over. You just want to
get up and leave because the temptation
to jump up from your seat and
break the rules - intervene, just overwhelms
Sometimes you even lose your composure
and start screaming at the referee
in charge in an attempt to influence him to stop the brutality.
This is wrong but previous terrible experiences such a boxer taking a pounding second to none and ending up in hospital with subsequently permanent injuries or death just stare you right in your face.
Mind you, not only a referee can stop fights but corner men have that right as well. You don’t often see them do that and most leave it too late.
Time-keeper, Stanely Sono, always
told me that when he was still active
as an official, it was always best to stop a fight too soon than too late.
Some corner men leave it too late
because they either think they know
charges so well or they are misled by
their nick names — “Killer”, “Raging
Bull”, Hands of Thunder”, “Mad Dog”
I must be honest with you, I hate such nick names. They are misleading. I don’t mind the “Baby” whoever or “Dancing Shoes” because it is a must to protect babies, while once those shoes are no longer able to dance, then corner men know what to do.
What impelled me to write this article
was the recent performance of Lucky
Lewele at Nasrec. It was an eye-sore, to say the least. His facial appearance
and conduct inside the ring left me with one thing in mind - advise him to hang up his gloves.
I was lucky to see his career take off,
so I think I will be forgiven when I say
the curtain has fallen on “Babawazo”
and it is time to go. Lewele was a warrior.
Lewele is one of those boxers
who never had an easy fight.
Lewele gave punishment as much as
he received. This veteran of more than
30 fights, a former double SA Champion and WBC International welterweight champion, fought a novice in Gerald Nekhubva.
Lewele, a shadow of his former self,
took severe punishment for three
rounds. He just could not defend him
self and needed somebody to rescue
him. His skills have deteriorated. The
correlation between the muscle and
the nerve is gone. His legs worked
against his brains.
Every time he got caught on his forehead, he literally stopped fighting, flinched and shook his head. I got scared. A slow starter by nature, he came back in the fourth and fifth rounds but was still getting caught badly. The sixth and final round was even.
I am not worried about the decision
which was a draw but I am rather concerned
about Lewele’s health.
Don’t forget, Thabo Mashishi gave
Lewele hell before he stopped him in
five, same applied against Bongani
Mwelase and Selcuk Aydin in Turkey.
A brotherly advice, Lucky, get out before
you bring sorrow to yourself,
your parents, your loved ones, your
friends and your followers by becoming
I take my leave.