Johannesburg - SA junior middleweight champion Nkululeko “Bulldog” Mhlongo says he is pleased to pursue his boxing career without the help of a trainer.
Unlike many boxers who require the services of mentors to nurture their skills, Bulldog does it on his own. And he believes self-training is working for him.
Last Saturday, the Bloemfontein-based boxer, who trains at Dream Team Gymnasium, was in his element.
Mhlongo showed great physical conditioning and mental sharpness when he pummelled challenger Brandon Thysse on the way to winning via a 10th-round stoppage in his national title defence at Emperors Palace.
“I have been training all by myself since turning professional in 2007, and this has worked for me. Being your own trainer requires a great deal of self-discipline and motivation. I don’t see myself getting any mentor in future,” said Mhlongo, who was born in Eshowe in KwaZulu-Natal.
The 27-year-old fighter said he sparred with former International Boxing Federation junior featherweight Lehlohonolo “Hands
of Stone” Ledwaba in Jabulani, Soweto, before fights.
“I also go to Gert Strydom’s gym in Northcliff for sparring,” he said.
Mhlongo’s promoter, Lebo Mahoko of Dream Team Promotions, said: “It’s very rare to see a fighter training himself. Bulldog manages to do that because he is extremely self-disciplined.”
Bulldog has had 16 wins and five defeats from 21 professional fights.
His last two losses happened in Germany, when he lost to Rafael Bejaran by a technical decision for the World Boxing Federation super welterweight title at Grosse Freiheit in April. His other loss was on points against Wanik Awdijan over 10 rounds in Nuremberg in July.
Meanwhile, Eastern Cape boxer Lusanda “Schoolboy” Komanisi will have the biggest test of his boxing career on Friday night.
He meets Filipino Jhack “El Capitan” Tepora for the vacant World Boxing Organisation featherweight at the Orient Theatre in East London.
Komanisi, who previously held the International Boxing Organisation (IBO) and South African titles, was inactive for two years after being stripped of his IBO belt for failing to defend it. His comeback bout was a 10-rounder against Free State’s Tello Lethebe, who he knocked out in the second round of a non-championship bout at Apache’s in Alberton last month.
Schoolboy has compiled a record of 21 victories and three defeats from 24 fights.
Tepora is undefeated in 21 outings, with 15 of his wins coming via the short route.
Their bout will headline the Heritage Celebration bill staged by Xaba Promotions.
Other fights on the bill:
Vuyani Masondo vs Gift Bholo (vacant ABU Southern Regional junior welterweight); Lindile “Tsotsi” Tshemese vs Yanga “Showtime” Sigqibo (SA bantamweight title); and Uyanda “Big Bear” Nogogo vs Odwa Gaxa (welterweight, eight rounds).