Malinga hangs up his gloves

The death of his father and long-time trainer Jabulani Malinga and the disappearance of promoter Branco Milenkovic served as the final straw for Vus’umuzi “Marvellous” Malinga.

The 36-year-old former SA, WBC International and WBO Africa bantamweight boxing champion said yesterday: “I have finally decided to call it quits. The two most important people who were responsible for my career are no longer there.

“My father has passed on and my long-time promoter has disappeared, so that is it for me.”

The left-hander is the youngest of three popular boxing brothers – the other two being Peter, 43, and Patrick, 38, – from Katlehong on the East Rand. Their father, who died in 2013, was also a professional boxer. Peter is the former SA, IBO and WBU welterweight champion now training other fighters, including Khayeni Hlungwane.

Hlungwane ended the career of Flo Simba with a first-round knockout in July in Pretoria. Patrick is the former SA lightweight belt holder. He is still active as a boxer. Vus’umuzi last fought on October 25 last year when he was outpointed by Gavin McDonnell for the WBO Inter-Continental junior featherweight title in the UK.

“I may not have won a world title but I have no regrets about being a boxer. My father and Branco advised me to invest my money so that when I quit I do not suffer. I have healthy investments including properties, and I am happily married with two children.

“I will assist Peter in our gym,” he said, adding that he thought it was best for him to get out while he is still in good health.

Malinga has been a professional fighter since 2000.

Milenkovic could not be reached for comment yesterday.