Bra Don Mguga’s final gong

Don Mguga, middle, with members of his Luyolo Boxing Club.

Luyolo Boxing Club is mourning the loss of their eldest member.

Former boxer and beloved trainer, Don Mguga, 72, was a driving force in the club’s pursuit to become a respectable home for aspiring boxers.

He died after a short illness and will be laid to rest tomorrow, Friday August 21.

Bra Don, as he was affectionately known, had a short career in the ring as a pro boxer in the 60s but was a man whose passion for the sport was unquestionable.

Though his stint in the ring was short, he shared it with the likes of Sydney Hoho, a former South African light heavyweight champion.

He lasted six pro bouts before shifting his focus to that of a trainer.

Even though he was relatively quiet when it came to working with prominent boxing stables, his work in the amateur ranks earned him huge respect as he was known by students as a man who enforced discipline.

In 2006 he joined forces with former boxer Anele Mfazwe to form Luyolo Boxing Club in Gugulethu with the aim of one day producing a boxing champion of their own.

His boxing club was more than just a training facility as he aimed to make it a home away from home for many kids who may fall victim to the ills of the township lifestyle.

Mfazwe says the news of Bra Don’s passing hit hard as his leadership qualities had the capability of taking the club members to greater heights.

He says just his presence in the gym was enough to instill positivity among club members as he was someone who always had a positive mindset and was always willing to lend a helping hand.

“We also called him an Englishman who loved debating in the queen’s language.

“Bra Don was a positive influence on our club members and I learnt a lot from him, that is why the news of his passing hit us hard.”

The club has been inactive because of the Covid-19 pandemic but as soon as things are back to normal, they have work to do to make sure Bra Don’s legacy lives on.

“He wanted us to push to have our own training facility and transport for our club members to make things easy and have a boxing champion coming out of our stable,” says Mfazwe.

Currently the club calls Luyolo Hall its home and has had a number of promising youngsters in the South African National Amateur Boxing Organisation (SANABO).

Former BSA provincial manager in the Western Cape Mickey Klaas said Bra Don will be sorely missed by the boxing fraternity, especially his passion for development.

“I remember when we were still juniors, we use to train with him at Ikwezi community centre although he was already a professional at the time. He was very quiet and communicated well with the juniors.

“We looked up to him. I remember his fight against Alfred Mange that he lost on points.

“The reason I remember that fight is because they both played a part in shaping my future in boxing,” said Klaas.

Klaas added that even in his older years the passion for boxing was unquestionable hence his dedication to reviving boxing at Luyolo community centre.

Mguga leaves behind his wife, Nikiwe, and two sons Siphiwo and Jerry Mguga.