pictures: fuad esack
Atlantic Sun dropped in at Mugisho’s home away from home to chat to him about Saturday’s Charity Reloaded boxing tournament, which aims to assist young fighters from the townships.
Fans are expected to gather at the gym’s basement parking lot, which will be converted in to a makeshift boxing arena come Saturday
The club is set to host its inaugural boxing festival, on Saturday August 26 and will feature no less than 16 bouts, in professional and amateur divisions. The festival will see participants who are not necessarily competitive boxers share the ring with seasoned campaigners.
Hardly surprising, as the Ring is not your regular gym. As much it is a boxing environment like any other, Mugisho is also concerned with spreading the values of the sport beyond the walls of the gym.
Mugisho, a boxer through and through, oversees things at the Ring. As a former professional, originally from the DRC, he is known for his exploits in the super welterweight division. These days, his mission is to develop future champs and to develop the sport at grassroots level.
And, if what’s happening at the Ring is anything to go by, then he is on the right track. He has a few professional fighters as well as a number of amateurs, from all over Cape Town, in his stable.
“We are all about giving back to the community. We don’t want to see young and talented fighters lose direction, and that is why it is import for us to not only train youngsters in our gym, we also try to support emerging gyms with equipment and other basics,” he said. “Our philosophy is that you don’t need to be wealthy to be successful. With the right support and guidance, anything is possible,” he said.
Talking about the weekend’s event, Mugisho said they have done a lot of legwork, in terms of marketing the event and, as it was more about fun than anything else, they expected a big crowd.
“We used as many platforms as possible, in an attempt to put our event out there. So, it is up to the people to come and enjoy themselves, we will see on the day.”
One of Mugisho’s young fighters, Lungi Sityata said the Ring provides one of the best environments to grow as a fighter.
The 16-year-old from Khayelitsha started out at the club in 2013, and says now, he is close to being a complete fighter.
“At the time I was in rehab and after care because I was recovering from drug addiction.
“One day, on my way to the rehabilitation centre, I walked past the Ring. I decided to get inside and that’s when I bumped into coach Chris. I told him my story, which touched him. He then asked me to come back and, since then, I never looked back,” said Sityata.
Saturday’s event starts at 6pm. Call 082 404 1092.