Nyelisani “The Rose of Limpopo” Thagamega, photographed shadow boxing at Luheni village on Sunday. Photo: Victor Mukwevho.

The 'Rose of Limpopo' is taking his boxing gloves to Zimbabwe

Sport - Date: 25 May 2024


Up-and-coming South African flyweight boxing sensation Nyelisani “The Rose of Limpopo” Thagamega has announced his decision to relocate his base from the Vhembe District to Zimbabwe as early as July this year.

The boxer from Luheni village in the Vhembe District, who boasts an impressive boxing record of 10 fights, one loss, and eight wins through knockouts, cites the lack of good and reputable boxing promoters in the country as his main problem.

“I have no option but to fight outside the country where they pay boxers in dollars. I don’t want to die poor as a boxer. Boxers are getting peanuts in South Africa. The business community is no longer interested in sponsoring boxing in this country because they don’t get media coverage when promoting the sport. I have won my first eight fights through knockouts, but I have never been on television on a national broadcaster. I was always on DStv channels, where many people do not have the opportunity to watch. We must remember that even promoters are there to make money through marketing their companies,” he said.

Asked why he chose Zimbabwe over other African countries as a base to market himself, he explained that he had not chosen Zimbabwe. An internationally renowned boxing-promotion company called Delta Force Boxing Promotions, under the guidance of well-known Zimbabwean businessman Delta Munyadzira, approached him after watching some of his fights at Emperor’s Palace in Kempton Park.

“I agreed as the offer was too good to refuse, and I am now going to be based in Harare and will be fighting in the undercard of big international fights under major boxing bodies in the world. It is also a chance for me to market myself as a boxer, and believe you me, I will bring home a world-champion belt soon,” he said.

Regarding his boxing journey, he mentioned that after participating in Musangwe tournaments for some time, he had decided to turn professional while still fighting in Limpopo. However, he realised the lack of quality boxing training equipment in the Vhembe District, prompting him to move to Johannesburg and join trainer Zwide Nxumalo’s stable.

He recounted being spotted by the late Dingaan “The Rose of Soweto” Thobela while training in Soweto, who then introduced him to boxing promoter Rodney Berman’s stable, where he was trained by Harold “The Hammer” Volbrecht.

“Under Volbrecht, I won six fights in a row through knockouts. I then won one fight on points. I only lost to Deejay Kriel in a rematch,” he said, adding that after defeating Deejay Kriel via knockout, he had challenged him again for a rematch and secured another victory.

When asked about his boxing role model, he mentioned Mike Tyson. “He is still the one I look up to before a fight. I always ask myself, if Tyson managed to knock out most of his opponents in the first round, why can’t I also do the same? I always go in there to knock my opponents out in the first round like Mike Tyson used to do,” he said.

He clarified that fighting from Zimbabwe and other countries in Africa does not mean he is no longer a South African citizen. “I am still a South African, but I have to make money while I still have time on my side,” he said.


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Victor Mukwevho

Victor Mukwevho Ne-vumbani joined the Mirror during it's inception in 1990. He joined the SABC newsroom in 1995, and was known by  listeners as "A u fhedzisela ari". He was a news editor for The Tembisan Newspaper from 2007 to 2015. He rejoined the Limpopo Mirror newspaper in June 2022 as a freelance journalist.

Email: [email protected]