Boxing Snippets

Rugged Ness pounds his way into the light

Shaun Ness pounding the leather with Colin Nathan.

Every gym has them, those boxers who are there come rain or shine, fight or no fight.

Shaun Ness is one such gym rat, a fighter who loves the gym and all it represents. He’s never happier than when sparring, matching his skills against whoever happens to be in the opposite corner.

At 33 he’s no youngster, but he’s a rugged battler whose ambitions were realised last October when he captured the vacant SA welterweight title. It completed a neat circle for Ness, having won the national amateur championship in 2008.

He is the son of vaunted amateur trainer Nicky, so he’s always had more pressure than most. Nicky has always expected a lot from Shaun, but it’s fair to say Ness jnr has played his part so far.

Later this month, on July 24, he tops the “Prospects at the Palace III” card at Emperors Palace. It’s a big moment for him. A heaving crowd at a major venue will concentrate his mind like never before.

He fights Ayanda Mthembu, who comes with the reputation of a banger, having outlasted Marcel Botha last time out. Ness doesn’t mind the punchers. He’s been hanging tough with the likes of Xolisani Ndongeni and Malcolm Klassen in sparring.

“It’s been good, I more than hold my own,” he says. “I’m working very hard. I’m being pushed by [trainer] Colin Nathan. The next two weeks will be insane.”

Ness is looking forward to the opportunity to be exposed to a bigger audience. “I want to show what I can do. I’m a quiet guy, I don’t talk too much, so perhaps not as many people have seen me. I really want to impress.”

Ness started his pro career late, at the age of 28, having taken five years out after popping his knee in the amateurs. He partied hard and lost his way a little, but he’s glad he was drawn back.

He works for a dairy milk distributor, but otherwise it’s all boxing. He loved watching Marvin Hagler back in the day, mainly because he fought a style he himself espouses – always in wars, never backing down.

“I’m taking nothing for granted,” he says. “I just want to fight.”




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