SA Boxing Shame As National Champs Drive Taxis, Clean Bins.. Roland Malindi has proven there’s little honour in being an SA boxing champion, because despite being the reigning bantamweight king, he still moonlights as a taxi driver.
He has ruled the division with iron fists since 2018. Malindi, 27, has chalked up four defences on the national title he won in his very first attempt and he remains undefeated as a fighter in 18 fights.
Malindi, who is trained in Westbury by Bernie Pailman, defends his title against Rofhiwa Nemushungwa at Steve Tshwete Memorial Banquet Hall in Middelburg, Mpumalanga, tomorrow night.
When he won the national title, there was hope for a brighter future, but instead it is the taxi he drives that enables him to put food on the table rather than a sport which made him an undefeated national champion.
It was the same case with Thomas Mashaba. He held the SA and IBO featherweight belts but when not in training he had to go for gold, literally, working thousands of feet underground in a mine in Carletonville where he drove a locomotive train.
The same happened to SA junior middleweight female champion Mapule Ngubane, who cleaned dustbins in Soweto to earn a living. She later worked for a carwash. Ngubane now works as a bouncer at a nightclub in Hillbrow.
In an effort to remedy the situation where champs have to find meaningful employment despite being professional boxers, Boxing SA has promised to find a sponsor for the national belt.