I’ve paid my dues behind bars, don’t take my title

2011-04-09 19:05

A sense of empowerment has been instilled in ex-prisoner Sabelo Jubata – so much that he believes he can conquer the world.

Jubata (29), a parolee, served eight of the 15 years added to his life sentence at the Middledrift Maximum Security Prison and at Mdantsane Correctional Services for armed robbery.

He was released in 2008.

The Mdantsane fighter’s ultimate goal is to win a world title. And going through his paces at Mdantsane’s Sisonke Gymnasium, the former inmate looked determined to make his dream come true.

His manager Siphatho Handi proudly pointed at him, saying: “The boxer did not resemble an ex-armed robbery convict but epitomised a self-composed, courteous gentleman.”

Jubata was gearing himself up, with the help of trainers Balekile Sam and Fanisile Ndaba, for his forthcoming title defence against Simphiwe Tom in East London on April 30.

He seized the title from Thando Vukuza on a 10th round knockout at the Orient Theatre on December 2009.

He defended it against Marcel Japhta and Malibongwe Thoba on a sixth round knockout.

Jubata was spotted by Luyanda Kana, an ex-political prisoner who opened a boxing academy at the prison.

Said Kana: “I have asked Siphatho Handi to join forces (with me) in encouraging these men not to engage in crime.

“About six boxers were released on parole and Jubata stood out head and shoulders above the rest.”

He has fought in 13 paid fights, has 12 victories, eight by knockout, and a defeat.

On an unpleasant note, though, Jubata’s defence is unlikely to materialise and the champ may be stripped off his title.

His title fight was originally pencilled in for March 30, but had to be cancelled after he twisted an ankle during training in December.

He saw a doctor whose medical certificate’s authenticity was rejected by Boxing SA (BSA) on the grounds that “it was not valid”. Jubata was referred to another doctor, who established that the injury was suspect.

Solly Selebi, chairperson of BSA’s sanctioning committee, said the bout would not take place and that the champion would be deposed.
BSA had instructed Jubata to defend the title within 90 days and that period has expired.

Jubata last fought against Thoba. Said Jubata: “I am making a passionate plea to BSA not to take my title because I will make the country proud.” Is Boxing SA listening?

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