If the buzz and excitement at the weigh-in on the East London foreshore at midday was any indication, Sunday’s tribute tournament to Mzi Mnguni could blast the roof off the Orient Theatre.
Boxers, fight camps, media, officials and boxing fans crowded the venue as the fighters stripped down and weighed themselves. Mnguni, the man of the moment, was there to see it all go down and received a standing ovation as he arrived.
“He can’t be compared to any other trainer in South Africa,” said prominent local official Peter Ngatane, who supervised the procedure. “He brought so many champions up from the dusty streets. It’s only right that he be honoured in this fashion,” he said of the tournament, which is designed to pay homage to a life of excellence.
IBO strawweight champion Simpiwe Konkco was a study in fitness, his lean appearance the reward for a tough training camp. He weighed 46,98kg to challenger Joyi’s 47,58kg.
Both declared themselves ready for a contest that has gripped the imagination.
All the boxers easily made the weight.
SA super-middleweight champion Lee Dyer weighed 75,20kg to Giovanni Bushby’s 74,28kg. The pair meet for the ABU championship.
Eastern Cape featherweight champion Lwandiso Zinto tipped the scales at 55,82kg with opponent Aphiwe Masengwana marginally lighter at 55,80kg.
Boxing starts at 2pm and will be broadcast live on SuperSport 7.