Boxing sensation Azinga Fuzile has chosen education over fortune after he decided to miss a lucrative fight series to concentrate on his matric exams.
Fuzile was scheduled to feature in the money-spinning Featherweight Super Four which is organised by top Johannesburg promoter Rodney Berman at Emperors Palace at the end of October.
The unbeaten 20-year-old from Duncan Village would have earned a total of R475000 if he had won the series where he was pitted against former world champion Simpiwe Vetyeka, Limpopo’s Tshifhiwa Munyai and Lerato Dlamini.
Each fighter is set to earn R175000 in the first round and a further R300000 if he wins the finals.
The fight earnings would have presented the biggest purse for the seven-fight novice.
But the Kusile Comprehensive School pupil has decided to miss the series as it clashes with his upcoming Grade 12 exams. This decision comes even though his earnings would have helped him to move out of the shack he currently shares with his parents.
“We badly wanted to be part of the series because Azinga would have won it,” confirmed the fighter’s trainer, Mzamo Njekanye.
“But education is crucial for Azinga and after discussing the matter at length we took the decision to focus on the exams.”
Fuzile’s decision to concentrate on education is unusual especially for a boxer who hails from the shack- littered township beset by undue influences which have destroyed the careers of many of its talented boxers.
Boxers from Duncan Village township have succumbed to various unsavoury activities such as stabbing incidents, substance abuse, alcoholism and rape accusations to mention a few.
These incidents have repelled top Johannesburg promoters from working with them.
But Fuzile is set to change the stigma often associated with Duncan Village boxers with his latest decision of choosing education over fortune.
Njekanye admitted that to miss out on big possible earnings was not an easy decision to make.
“Besides the financial windfall, the series would have provided us with a marketing opportunity and accelerate our pursuit of a world title. But Azinga is still young and he will get other opportunities. For now he must focus on education which forms the core of our teachings to these kids,” he said.
The decision, however, was not well-received by Berman who is now battling to find a replacement.
“I am disappointed by Fuzile’s withdrawal but we will find someone to replace him,” he said. “One would have thought that a boxer would jump at the opportunity like this to make money and also enhance his status but I guess matric is more important to him.”
Berman is negotiating to have the winner of the series to be approved to fight for the WBC title.
He confirmed that he will attend the WBC Convention in Kazakhstan next month to make a formal request for the winner to either get a title shot or at least a mandatory status.
Fuzile is scheduled to defend his SA featherweight title against Rofhiwa Maemu in Rumble Africa Promotions tournament at the Orient Theatre this Sunday.