Johannesburg - South African boxer Vusi Malinga is an angry man after American customs officials stripped him of his traditional Zulu hat, fighting gown and bracelet, which is known as isiphandla, according to a report in the Sowetan.
Isiphandla is a bracelet made out of goat skin and is deemed to have protective qualities.
The gown, hat and isiphandla were all confiscated soon after Malinga
and his entourage landed at the airport in Los Angeles ahead of
Saturday's fight against Mexican Leo Santa Cruz.
This is the biggest fight for the Ekurhuleni-based Malinga, who is
hoping to win his first world title in the fight for the vacant IBF
bantamweight belt against Cruz, who is unbeaten in 19 fights.
Malinga, who is of Zulu royal blood, is accompanied by his trainer
and father Jabu and two brothers - Patrick, a former South African
lightweight champion and Peter, a former IBO and WBU welterweight
The promising fighter was detained for four hours at the Los Angeles
customs office when officials instructed him to leave his Zulu
traditional regalia behind or return to Johannesburg.