Diabetes could spur Simba on

2011-10-08 19:52

The disease might make him double his efforts, says Jomo Sono

Knockout artist Flo Simba, whose career may be mortally wounded following devastating losses in the ring recently, could be on the verge of immortality, argues the legendary Jomo Sono.

Simba has been diagnosed with diabetes.

The boxer’s manager, former two-time world champion Brian Mitchell, has confirmed that his fighter is battling the disease. Simba has confirmed this too, but insists he is not quitting.

News of Simba’s ailment follows close on the heels of his shocking first-round technical knockout defeat at the hands of Danie Venter at Emperors Palace a fortnight ago.

A few months before that, he was knocked out in the sixth round by Francois “White Buffalo” Botha.

Luckily for him, soccer icon Sono has words of comfort and encouragement.

“Contrary to popular belief, sugar diabetes does not spell the end but the beginning,” says Sono Perhaps Sono, possibly the best player in the history of South Africa, knows what he is talking about.

The man who was popularly known as “Skopo” in his teenage playing days, also battled the disease for years.

Sono, whose utterances are as blistering as the shots he once tested goalkeepers with, says those who say Simba must quit are unrealistic.

“Simba has a God-given talent like me and needs to use it effectively,” he says.

“Since he knows he suffers from diabetes, he will be at his best because he will be on his guard moment by moment, keeping his sugar under control.

“Ironically, this will propel him to greatness because he will make certain that he is often at his best, using his perceived disadvantage advantageously.”

Yoga Coopoo, associate professor of the Department of Sport and Movement Studies, echoes Sono’s sentiments, saying Simba can still make it.

“He can continue fighting as long as his glucose is under control and he eats properly,” says Coopoo.

“However, if he does not control it he could lose consciousness during a fight.”

Simba might have suffered a first-round knockout defeat against Venter, but he says he will continue fighting.

Speaking slowly, softly and seemingly picking his words, the fighter who has knocked out 10 of his 13 foes said: “I am very sad about the outcome of the [Venter] fight. However, life is risk-taking and there is no guarantee that anyone will live forever, so I will carry on fighting. People die in their sleep, people die walking, people die in war and from illness, so sugar diabetes is not a big issue.”

And indeed there are a number of athletes who have not allowed ailments or serious injuries to get in the way of them reaching the top of their disciplines.

But there are fears in the fight fraternity for Simba, with some saying he should call it a day before he suffers mortal injury. His mentor is one of them, arguing against his fighter continuing to fight.

“Simba perhaps needs to take a break from the game for about two years and concentrate on his civil engineering studies,” says Mitchell.

Does Simba’s reluctance to hang up his gloves suggest he loves boxing more than his life?

Great boxers like Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran beat the odds to become greats.

Who knows, Simba could be destined for greatness.

Do you refuse to eat just because there is a chance of choking?


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