Boxing Snippets

De Paiva one to look out for – Mitchell

Troy De Paiva, seen here with trainer Anton Gilmore and manager Brian Mitchell.

Joburg’s tough southern suburbs have thrown up a number of top fighters over the years, among them Laurie Stevens, Pierre Fourie, Paul Kamanga and Anton Gilmore.

If word on the street is to be believed, it won’t be long before there’s another boxer from the south’s hard streets about to get people talking.

Troy De Paiva is a 21-year-old junior-middleweight who has mixed it up in martial arts, but has found a niche in boxing. He’s just 1-0 as a pro, but you wouldn’t know it when talking to Brian Mitchell, his manager.

“The kid’s got class,” said Mitchell. “He blew out a guy in the first round, but I’m more impressed by his poise and attitude in the gym. I’ve seen prospects come and go, but Troy has the X-factor. He looks outstanding and I’m excited to be working with him.”

As a youngster, De Paiva’s heart was in karate – he competed for seven years – and he had a turn in mixed martial arts. His stand-up game wasn’t up to scratch so he migrated to boxing. It wasn’t long before the bug bit and he’s been in the aforementioned Gilmore’s gym for the past six years.

“I love it,” he says. “I fell in love with boxing quickly. I love the technical aspects of the sport. In old times it was about brute strength, but now it’s truly the sweet science.”

Gilmore not only has an uncanny eye for spotting talent, he understands the culture of the environment. He, too, likes what he sees in De Paiva, who will make his Golden Gloves debut at a tournament at Emperors Palace on April 23.

Although De Paiva is backing himself to go far, he has sensibly got himself a job, turning in a daily seven-to-five shift at his dad’s panelbeating business. He trains before and after work, so there’s a healthy sense of balance about him.

With just five fights as an amateur, De Paiva’s learning curve will be steep. But surrounded by old, canny fighters like Gilmore and Mitchell, the early betting must be in his favour.





Related Articles

Back to top button