World boxing champions back

Thobela, the 37-year South African nicknamed ‘Rose of Soweto’, who has recently been advised to hang up his gloves after “running away” from Mads Larsen in Denmark in April, has bounced back. Thobela will now meet Rudy Markussen for the WBO Intercontinental Super middleweight title in Copenhagen on the weekend of September 26.

Thobela was referred to as “Igwala” or “coward” after leaving his trainer Norman Hlabane wanting in Denmark. “Even Danish promoter Mogens Palle announced after my in Denmark that I would never get another fight anywhere in the world.

People were calling me names without knowing what was going on, but I understand” said Thobela who was in Windhoek for the Paulus Moses-Mihaita Mutu Intercontinental fight.

Thobela was arguably the region’s most celebrated pugilist in his heyday when he lifted the WBA and WBO lightweight as well as the WBC super middleweight champion in the late 90s, watched the Hitman do a double in Windhoek last week where he indicated: “I am grateful that the opportunity to show my detractors that I am not a coward has come. “Unfortunately I will not be fighting Mads Larsen,” said the former WBA and WBO lightweight and WBC super middleweight champion.

For Thobela, it would have been the greatest comeback had Larsen been around. The Danish ended the illustrious career of former WBC champion Thulani “Sugarboy’ Malinga some years ago but his much touted bout with Thobela could not materialize as the South African was blamed for running away.

According to Thobela, Larsen will be challenging Svenn Ottke for the IBF and WBA belts sometime next month and could not be available for that match.

I cannot afford a defeat, because a victory will put me in line to challenge the winner between the two. But I’m hoping that Larsen wins, because then the chances of fighting him will be excellent now that I am working with his promoter,” said Thobela.

“I am bringing the title home though,” insisted Thobela who has proved the Danish promoter wrong.

Namibian Harry ‘The Terminator’ Simon, who has survived a career-breaking court-case, is also on the come-back trail.

September 2006
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