Former pro-boxer Paul Masindi. Photo supplied.
Former pro-boxer Paul Masindi started a boxing club in Nzhelele to develop and promote young boxers from rural areas.
“I saw great potential among some of the young people and came up with the idea of developing them into boxers,” he said.
According to Masindi, Limpopo loses most of its promising boxers to Gauteng-based boxing promoters, because so few good boxing promoters can be found in the province.
Masindi said they had decided to send young boxers to amateur boxing tournaments. “Boxing thrills people so much. They needed more action, even after it was suspended due to Covid-19. We then invited different stakeholders to a meeting where we agreed to start with tournaments in different areas,” he said.
Seven bouts took place during the amateur tournament at Lulekani on Saturday, 8 May. The ring was shared by boxers from Nzhelele and Lulekani, with two young boxers from each area facing each other. Nzhelele won six out of the seven matches, with only one match won by Lulekani.
Masindi invites young boys and girls who are interested in boxing to come and join them. “We are planning to make this sport a big event, and we want everyone to participate. If we get sponsors in the future, we will reward the boxers to strengthen their fighting spirit.”
Masindi himself, known back in the day as ‘Cruel Vulture’ Masindi, could not realize his dream of becoming a world champion because of his background of growing up in rural Limpopo where sporting resources are scarce; in some places even non-existent. So, for a long time he aspired to being able to assist other promising boxers one day to reach their dreams and to produce world champions from the Nzhelele area, without their having to move to the cities in search of better opportunities. “There is so much talent in the rural villages, just waiting to be explored. If it is not nurtured, it will be lost forever.”
Date:22 May 2021 - By: Kaizer Nengovhela
Kaizer Nengovhela started writing stories for Limpopo Mirror more than a decade ago, in 2 000. Prior to that he had a five year stint at Phala-Phala FM as sports presenter. In 2005 Kaizer received an award from the province's premier as Best Sports Presenter. The same year he was also nominated as Best Sports Reporter by the Makhado Municipality. Kaizer was awarded the Mathatha Tsedu award in 2014.