Anyone who was at Sunday’s boxing at Emperors Palace can vouch for how Lucky Monyebane’s fans almost lifted the roof off the casino venue.
The southpaw was in sensational form as he blew Caiphus Thomas away in a single round, leading to his huge support base chanting and singing and finally carrying him away on their shoulders. It was a reminder of just how important heroes are, more particularly when they come from an impoverished area like Hammanskraal, where Monyebane hails from.
The lightweight has had just four fights and is already a “big hero” according to Kagiso Moleko, coordinator of Dikebu Golden Palace, a gym that also functions as an educational hub in the area. For a number of years, Dikebu has enjoyed a fruitful partnership with Golden Gloves.
“He’s our star, we’re very proud,” said Moleko. “The local MEC for Sport and Recreation is hosting a gala dinner for him next week. We all love him.”
It gets even better because another product of Dikebu is about to hit the professional ranks. Thabelo Pota is a 19-year-old junior-bantamweight with 80 amateur fights to his credit. He already has a license and is in talks with promoter Jeff Ellis to make his pro debut.
“Like Monyebane, Thabelo can really fight,” says Moleko. “He will also get the community’s full support. We will go far and wide – be it the Eastern Cape or KZN – with our travelling supporters.”
Promoter Rodney Berman admits to being pleasantly surprised by Monyebane’s talent. “They had told me about him, but I thought it was just talk. He can really fight and three KOs in four fights shows that he can dig too. He did the business on Sunday . . . I look forward to pushing him. I’m delighted for the Dikebu crowd whose support is wonderful.”