SA boxers keep punching

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Nicholas Zaal

Boxing may have a strong professional division in South Africa but it is still a contact sport and not allowed under the current regulations of lockdown.

This means no fights or training is allowed for boxers at Alan Toweel Boxing Gym in Linden, this dilemma is mitigated through a training regime and positive mindset instilled by coach Alan Toweel.

“I am getting all 12 of my boxers to run every day as that keeps the fitness up and some of them are sending videos of how their training is going,” he told Caxton Local Media.

“Some have punching bags and some can do weight training but shadowboxing is the best for them because it works the muscles they need to keep strong. Obviously they will only peak again when they return to training with me but they can also swim if they have a pool at home.”

He said even in the cold weather, swimming was great for athletes because it relaxed the body and stretched the muscles. “They can also hold their breath underwater to increase their lung capacity.”

Toweel said most of his boxers had fights just before the start of lockdown so they were still quite fresh, which was good. However, he still wants every one of his boxers to have at least one more fight before the end of the year.

The coach said this could include a title fight for Sikho “Sequence” Nqothole, who is the current International Boxing Organisation African junior bantamweight champion and is ranked third in South Africa; as well as a super four fight for Akani “Prime” Phuzi, the World Boxing Association Pan-African cruiserweight champion and number one in the country.

“I am in constant contact with each of my boxers and they know I have plans for each of them,” Toweel continued. “They know there are fights that may come up in the next few months and for most of my boxers, these will be top-ranked fights. This helps motivate them to stay positive and train during the lockdown.” - Randburg Sun

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