TIWALA si dating WBC at IBF super middleweight champion Thulani “Sugar” Malinga na mapatutulog ng kababayan niyang si South African Zolani “Last Born” Tete si Filipino Arthur “King Athur” Villanueva sa sagupaan sa Sabado sa Leicester Arena, Leicestershire sa United Kingdom.
Mahalaga ang panalo para kina Tete at Villanueva dahil ang 10-round na sagupaan ay eliminator bout para sa karapatan na harapin ang magwawagi kina WBO bantamweight champion Marlos Tapales at No. 6 contender Shohei Omori ng Japan.
Dating IBF super flyweight titlist si Tete na gustong maagaw ang WBO title bago hamunin ang mga kampeon sa WBC, WBA at IBF at magagawa niya ito kung madadaig si Villanueva.
“He is not just a good boxer, but he is clever too. And the fact that he is from Mdantsane, where they take boxing very seriously and the competition to get to the top is very high, will serve to inspire Tete,” sabi ni Malinga sa Mbongiseni Buthelezi ng iOL Sport. “He should focus on the job at hand. He must know that the noise of the supporters outside the ring will not do any harm to him. I know what I am talking about because I had some fights in London. I know the environment there. He must not allow the hostile crowd to pressurise him.”
Masakit ang loob ni Malinga dahil walang world class champion ngayon ang South Africa na nakukuntento sa paglaban sa IBO world titles na ikalima lamang sa mga samahan sa boksing.
“I think currently, we don’t have managers who are passionate about boxing. Most of them simply meet the boxers at training, and don’t encourage the box to do cross training like jogging to build up stamina like we used to,” diin ni Malinga na ikinalungkot ang pagreretiro ng sikat na trainer na si Nic Durandt. “In the 1990s we had about eight champions because we had managers such as Nic Durandt.”
“He did not know much about boxing, but he had a passion and that was the reason he could produce so many champions,” dagdag ni Malinga. “That passion of his rubbed off on his boxers. We need more managers like Durandt.”