Rose of Soweto looks to bloom again at 40

One of South Africa’s colourful boxing sons, Dingaan Thobela, will attempt to defy Father Time when he makes a boxing come back on October 27.

Thobela, also known as the Rose of Soweto, will be vying to relaunch his career at the expense of Soon Botes, whom he will challenge for the South African light-heavyweight crown in Johannesburg.

Thobela has not fought since December 2004 when he was stopped in four rounds by Lucian Bute in Canada.

The loss was his sixth in row and it fuelled calls for him to throw in the towel in the fight game he has served with aplomb.

Now a 40-year-old, Thobela still believes there is some boxing left in his scarred body, which has catapulted him to three world title triumphs in a career spanning 20 years as a professional.

Renowned for changing promoters at the blink of an eye, Thobela will now work with Branco Sports Production to try to recapture boxing stardom.

“I have never really waved goodbye to my fans in the country, hence I feel I should come back and say a proper goodbye,” he said.

To do that, he plans to embark on a nationwide roadshow to defend the South African light-heavyweight crown if he beats Botes.

Thobela believes Botes is his good omen as he was experiencing mixed fortunes in 2000 until he dethroned Botes for the South African super-middleweight title.

The victory paved the way for him to challenge Canadian Dave Hilton for the WBC super-middleweight crown.

Against all odds, Thobela surprised everybody when he stopped Hilton in 12 rounds to annex the WBC title.

“I believe I can do it again,” he says.—Sapa


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