He’s quietly carving out a name for himself as one of South Africa’s most astute trainers.
Come October, Welcome Ncita hopes to announce himself when his little fighter, Siyabonga Siyo, challenges Hekkie Budler for the WBA Pan-Africa title at Emperors Palace.
“We’re coming there to win, not just be opponents,” said the 50-year-old former world champion who still ranks among SA’s greatest boxers.
Ncita will be in Siyo’s corner for the first time, but he says he has long advised the challenger. Ironically, he also trained Simphiwe Konkco to the national title. Konkco, of course, had a memorable tear-up with Siyo a couple of months ago.
Ncita says he enjoys training Siyo, who responds well to his tactics and training methods. Ncita doesn’t tolerate laziness, but he hasn’t needed to with Siyo. “He’s a hard worker and adapts well. He listens and he adjusts.”
Apart from Siyo, Ncita’s resumé includes work with top names like Simphiwe Vetyeka, Gabula Vabaza and Monelesi Myekeni.
Siyo, from Duncan Village near East London, gave Konkco a top test in June. It was his first career defeat, having gone on a 10-win streak to that point. His inexperience cost him, but Ncita insists this will not be a factor against Budler.
“Siyo learned so much from that. Of course Budler is a good boy – he was a great champion – but Siyo has the game to beat him.”
So concerned is Ncita about keeping the gameplan under wraps, he has put a ban on Siyo sparring on Thursday’s media open day, taking place at SuperSport. He will skip and hit the pads, but Ncita has drawn a line under showing any moves ahead of October 22.