Trainer Colin Nathan is predicting big things for Ricky Tshabalala, the reigning SA amateur light-heavyweight champion.
The 24-year-old is on the verge of taking out a pro license, the culmination of boxing for 10 years, mostly out of the well-known Booysens gym.
“I had a great time in the amateurs under [trainer] Nicky Ness; now it’s time to move up,” said the two-time national champion.
Added Nathan: “Ricky’s been coming to the gym for a while. I believe he could become very good.”
However, their hook-up could be brief. Tshabalala is angling to move to the UK – his wife is British – to try his luck in the vibrant fight scene there.
British boxing is on a high and he’s hoping for a crack – provided his spousal visa comes through.
His Whatsapp bio gives some indication of his attitude: “When they ask me how I did it, I’ll tell them. It’s simple . . . I was a kid in a Third world country with a First World Mindset.”
Until then, he’ll continue to pound the boards at HotBox, yearning and dreaming of that first pro bout, which can’t come soon enough.