South Africa needs white boxers

Boxing SA chairperson Mthobi Tyamzashe is spending sleepless nights worrying about the dwindling number of white boxers in the country.

“We all agree that the black-versus-white match-ups traditionally have been attractive and contributed well to boxing.

“We still have the big need for white boxers and we would like to encourage every opportunity to attract them,” said Tyamzashe, popularly known as “Choirmaster”.

South Africa currently only has six white professional prize fighters. They are Anton Nel (heavyweight champion), Andre Thysse (super middleweight holder), Danie Venter, Sebastian Rothmans, Jim Murray and Daniel Bruwer.

Nel, Rothmann, Murray and Thysse are on their way out. Venter still has to make an impression.

The only real white hope is the up-and-coming Bruwer.
The twentysomething boxer has set the local boxing scene alight with his hammer-fisted hands. He campaigns in the super middleweight class, has flattened all 11 of his opponents and is yet to taste defeat.

Tyamzashe said the lack of white boxers will be discussed at Boxing SA’s convention at the Hilton hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg, on January 29.

The convention’s theme is Boxing Is a Business.

“We really want to get promoters to see themselves as businesspeople. The huge proportion of the promotion business is really the idea of having a mixture between boxing expertise and business experience,” he said.

Tyamzashe said black economic empowerment also needs to be looked at.

“The idea is that boxing here should not be seen as a sport that is black-played and the benefits are accruing to other races as opposed to the blacks.

“The idea is to create a truly South African business and it will be [such] a business if we recruit white boxers,” he said.

He said another issue that needs to be addressed is the fact that top promotion companies are white-owned. But there are various ways to resolve this situation.

“Former boxers need to start taking up licensees on their own. The other option will obviously be for them to join ventures with their white counterparts, which is a productive approach, or creating investment opportunities by taking the equity in all the other businesses.”—Sapa

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