Klitschkos add extra punch to boxing families

2011-09-17 15:00

Vitali Klitschko’s 10th round knockout victory over Tomasz Adamek in Poland eight days ago has inspired the Malinga boxing family in South Africa.

Ukrainian-born Klitschko (40), who lives in Germany, was defending the World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight crown against the Polish foe.

His win made certain that Klitschko and his brother Wladimir (35) hold on to their record of being the only brothers to own the world heavyweight belts collectively.

Wladimir is the holder of four titles – the International Boxing Federation (IBF), World Boxing Association (WBA), World Boxing Organisation (WBO) and International Boxing Organisation (IBO).

The Malingas from Katlehong – Peter, Vusi, Patrick and Samuel – who are mentored by their father Jabu, belong to a clutch of fighting families worldwide.

Malinga senior said: “We would like to take a leaf out of the book of the Klitschko brothers because we have found them a great motivation regardless of their suffering a few defeats.”

The boxing father said his family has always followed the career of the Klitschko brothers with interest and had learnt a few things from them.

The Malinga brothers are perhaps the only surviving local boxing brothers.

At the moment, Vusi is the most successful. A former WBC international bantamweight holder, he gained a shot at Abner Mares’ IBF bantamweight crown when he beat Michael Domingo in an elimination bout last?year.

In the past the most outstanding member was Peter, who won the World Boxing Union and IBO welterweight titles in the 1990s.

Samuel held the World Boxing Federation junior welterweight crown, also in the 1990s.

Patrick is a former national lightweight champion.

Other fighting brothers globally include the American siblings the Spinks (Michael and Leon); the Canizales (Orlando and Gaby); and Thai Galaxy twins (Kaokor and Khaosai).

Of the Spinks brothers, Michael held the WBA light heavyweight and IBF heavyweight crowns while Leon caused one of the biggest upsets in boxing history when he seized the WBC heavyweight crown from Muhammad Ali in his eighth professional battle.

The most famous boxing family locally are the Toweels (Vic, Willie, Maurice, Allan and Frazer). Vic is the only South African to wear the undisputed world bantamweight belt and also won the national bantamweight, featherweight and British Empire bantamweight crowns.

Willie is a former national bantamweight, featherweight, lightweight and British Empire lightweight champion. Maurice was a manager-promoter, Allan a trainer and Frazer a journey-man.

There is also the Ndlovu household – Takalani and his father and former mentor, Stanley. Takalani is the IBF junior featherweight champion.

The Steyn brothers – Stoffel, Andries, Gert and Jappie – were all trained by their father, Andries Steyn senior.

Stoffel, Andries and Gert held multiple national titles and Jappie was an ordinary fighter.

Not forgetting the Sithebes – former champions Thomas and Johannes and non-titleholders Petrus and Moses. Other ­
well-known boxers from the same household included the Whiteboys – Bramley, Chris, Derrick and Ashley.

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