South Africa

Withering rose won’t quit

2016-12-11 06:08
VETERAN: Mzonke Fana, the country’s oldest active boxer, has been in the ring for 22 years. (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Veteran Western Cape boxer Mzonke Rose of Khayelitsha Fana is adamant that he won’t retire from boxing now, despite having collapsed after a defeat in Ghana last Friday.

The 43-year-old boxer, the country’s oldest active pugilist after 22 years in the sport, collapsed in the ring after losing to Emmanuel Tagoe by an unanimous points decision for the vacant International Boxing Organisation lightweight clash at the Bukom Boxing Arena in Accra.

Fana, who has had 49 fights, was carried out of the ring on a stretcher and rushed to a hospital in Accra, where he underwent a brain scan and was later released.

But despite the health scare, he believes he is still in fine fettle and will not hang up his gloves.

“I want to have at least one more fight before I can consider retiring. At the moment, I still feel on top of my game. Never mind my age, I can still box,” he said.

But Fana evidently absorbed a bit too much punishment from Tagoe.

“I felt a bit dizzy, hence I collapsed. But I’m alright now. I still have more boxing left in my veins,” he said.

Fana’s defeat in Ghana comes almost five months after he suffered another embarrassing unanimous points decision loss to Welshman Terry Flanagan for the World Boxing Organisation lightweight championship at the Ice Arena in Cardiff, Wales, in July.

During that clash, Fana was turned into a punching bag by the more polished Flanagan.

The Rose of Khayelitsha leads the chart of Mzansi boxers who are still throwing punches competitively despite age no longer being on their side.

He also falls into the category of fighters who collapsed in the ring during or after fights.

Some ring injuries – Notable boxers who collapsed

1985 – Jacob “Dancing Shoes” Morake was knocked out in the 12th round by Brian Mitchell for the SA junior lightweight title at Sun City Superbowl and did not regain consciousness. Morake died in hospital the next day.

1988 – Brian Baronet was in a coma for three days and later died after being knocked out by American Kenny Vice during their welterweight bout at West Ridge Park Tennis Stadium in Durban.

1991 – Patrick Mdiniso died after being knocked unconscious by Mongezi Mbadu in their featherweight bout.

1991 – Clive Sikwebu died nine days after being knocked out by Ndoda Mayende during their flyweight bout at Orient Theatre, East London.

2008 – Samora Msophi died in hospital four days after being knocked out by Mfundo Gwayana for the SA flyweight title at Orient Theatre.

2014 – Female boxer Phindile Mwelase slipped into a coma and died two weeks later after being knocked out by Liz Butler in the sixth round of their scheduled eight-round light-middleweight professional bout in Pretoria.

The former International Boxing Federation super featherweight kingpin was stripped of his World Boxing Federation international lightweight belt last month.

The general feeling in boxing circles is that, for the sake of his health if not his life, Fana should throw in the towel.

This reporter is convinced that he has nothing more to prove in boxing.


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