A born fighter

By Drum Digital
29 September 2010

IT'S an hour before he's due at the airport to catch his flight to Australia and the two-time boxing world champion is trying to manoeuvre his way out of the hotel at Emperors Palace, Jozi. And with two heavily laden baggage trolleys, three boisterous kids and an entourage of family and friends to juggle, that's no easy task. Add to the chaotic mix the fact that the DRUM team is waiting anxiously to snatch a few minutes with him and you'd imagine Lovemore N'dou would be rather stressed out.

But the man who often resembles a furious whirlwind in the ring is as cool as a cucumber. He is also, it turns out, a journalist 's dream: clever, funny and full of tales of his rags-to-riches life.

The 39-year-old boxing veteran recently emerged victorious against the unbeaten Bongani Mwelase, who was trying to take Lovemore's International Boxing Organisation (IBO) welterweight title away from him. Bongani must have thought he had it in the bag at Lovemore's age he's practically a grandpa in boxing terms, while the younger fighter is in his prime at 28. But Lovemore emerged the winner on a split decision at Emperors Palace, much to the delight of his fans' and his children.

Maxine Emma (12), Marion Nina (9) and Lovemore Jnr (7) were watching the fight, as were Lovemore's friends from his old home town in Limpopo and they erupted when the judges' decision was read out.

“My kids are pleased with their dad's win,” he tells us proudly. “I said before the fight if I didn't win convincingly I'd quit but my children are happy so I'll carry on.” The three kids jostle to hold the two title belts their father has won: one each from the IBO and the International Boxing Federation (IBF). “I want to hold the red one,” Lovemore Jnr complains as they pose for a picture with Lovemore's younger sister, Caroline (20).

“The kids could see it was a tough fight, but I told them it was a case of experience versus youth and experience won. I beat up the kid. I took him to school, like I said I would. But make no mistake, Bongani has a lot of potential,” the devoted father says. For now the boxer, who is described by his SA-based trainer Harold Volbrecht as a 39-year-old trapped in 25-year-old body, wants to enjoy some quality time with his children.

Read the full article in DRUM of 10 October 2010

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