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Professional ring announcer Mr Mashudu Siaga.

Ring announcer believes state of boxing is deteriorating

 

Mr Mashudu Siaga, one of the best boxing-ring announcers in the country and the first professional ring announcer in Limpopo, believes that the standard of boxing in the country is deteriorating.

Siaga, hailing from Luheni village in the Rammbuda area, became a professional ring announcer in 1998. While working as a police officer, he also served as a boxing analyst for various radio stations, including Phalaphala FM.

In a recent conversation with this newspaper, Siaga attributed the decline in the sport to the lack of boxing equipment, sponsorships, and boxing trainers. He noted that before the political changes in 1994, many notable boxers were produced in the country because the government and private sector provided resources for boxing trainers to identify and develop young talent.

“The army and the police played a critical role in providing equipment to community members and training their personnel to participate in boxing. Former internationally renowned boxers like Kallie Knoetze and Gerrie Coetzee emerged from such programmes, starting their careers as police officers.”

Siaga recalled that during the Venda Defence Force (VDF) days, local boxers would visit their bases to use training equipment. Former world boxing champions from the Vhembe district, Phillip Ndou from Makwarela township, and Cassius Baloyi from Malamulele township were also supported by members of the then SAPS and VDF with boxing training equipment. Ndou’s uncle, Mr. Khathutshelo Mukwevho, a soldier, trained him at the Manenu Battalion, while Baloyi’s father, Mr. Eric Baloyi, a policeman, trained him at the police gym.

When asked about his influences as a ring announcer, Siaga mentioned Michael Buffer, one of the best international ring announcers, and Desmond Sono in South Africa. Siaga’s favourite boxer is “Sugar” Ray Leonard, while locally, his favourites used to be Vhalinavho Matamela and Zachariah Mudau.

 

 

Date:24 February 2024

By: Victor Mukwevho

Victor Mukwevho Ne-vumbani joined the Mirror during it's inception in 1990. He joined the SABC newsroom in 1995, and was known by  listeners as "A u fhedzisela ari". He was a news editor for The Tembisan Newspaper from 2007 to 2015. He rejoined the Limpopo Mirror newspaper in June 2022 as a freelance journalist.

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