Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

US Customs Strip Malinga of His Traditional Zulu Regalia

By Mesuli Zifo

THE devotion of the Malinga family to the traditional Zulu culture has come to haunt them in their son Vusi Malinga’s biggest fight when he was forced to take off his Zulu bracelet better known as Isiphandla and his fighting gear on landing at Los Angeles, US on Sunday.

Malinga (24-3-1, 12 KOSs) who is of royal Zulu blood, will battle for the vacant IBF bantamweight title against unbeaten Mexican prospect Leo Santa Cruz (19-0-1, 11 Kos) in a Showtime televised quadruple tournament featuring three other world title fights at Home Depot Centre, Carson, California, US on Saturday.

The other bouts will see former world light heavyweight champion and current IBO cruiserweight king Antonio Tarver defend his crown against unbeaten Nigerian Lateef Kayode, former world junior middleweight champion Winky Wright taking on highly touted Peter Quillin in a middleweight duel and WBA junior middleweight champion Austin Trout risking his crown against Delvin Rodriguez.

Malinga, 32, landed in Los Angeles on Sunday accompanied by his father Jabu who is also his trainer and his brothers Patrick who is a former South African lightweight champion and Peter, a former IBO and WBU welterweight champion.

On landing in Los Angeles after a 30-hour flight from Johannesburg SA, Vusi was detained for four hours at the Los Angeles customs office when officials demanded that he leave his Zulu traditional regalia behind.

A heated argument ensued as his father Jabu tried to convince the customs officials about the importance and the devotion of his son to the Zulu culture.

However his pleas fell on deaf ears as the officials told him to either leave the traditional stuff behind or return to Johannesburg, SA.

The Malingas quickly sent a text message to their promoter Branco Milenkovic back home highlighting their plight but the customs officials would not budge.

“They were forced to leave their traditional stuff behind otherwise they would have to return to Johannesburg,” a peeved Milenkovic confirmed.

Going to the fight without his traditional regalia will obviously affect Vusi psychologically as he and his brothers have a strong devotion to the Zulu culture.

It is not the first time the heavy devotion of the Malinga siblings to the Zulu culture has adversely affected them in a boxing match.

On October 24, 2010 a fracas erupted at Uitenhage Indoor Centre in Uitenhage near Port Elizabeth, South Africa, when SA Boxing Commission official Phakamile Jacobs ordered Patrick to take off his Isiphandla before his SA lightweight title defence against Vusumzi Tyatyeka.

Jabu and Patrick strongly protested but when Jacobs threatened to call off the fight, Malinga relented and went on to stop Tyatyeka in the eighth round to retain his crown.

Patrick has since surrendered the title to Thompson Mokwana who recently beat him on points in a rematch on the undercard of Jeffrey Mathebula’s IBF junior featherweight title victory over Takalani Ndlovu three months ago. Mathebula will face Nonito Donaire in a WBA/IBF title unification at Home Depot Center on July 7.

Milenkovic admitted that Vusi will be psychologically affected by being forced to fight without his Zulu traditional stuff.

“We must understand that the Malingas strongly believe in the Zulu culture and for Vusi to be forced to fight without his traditional gear will affect him,” Milenkovic said, adding that alternative arrangement has been made to get Vusi another fighting gear.

Besides fighting without the guidance of the Zulu spirit, Malinga’s mission to win the fight has been made much harder after the Californian Boxing Commission appointed officials from California where Santa Cruz is based.

The referee will be David Mendoza from California with judges being Barry Druxman, Jose Cobian all from California while the third judge will be Hubert Earle from Nova Scotia.

Fight supervisor will Rob Scott from New Jersey.

Milenkovic said he tried to get the IBF appoint neutral officials but the Californian Commission insisted on appointing their own officials.

“This means Malinga will have to leave nothing to chance if he wants to win the fight,” Milenkovic said.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by budfr on 05-30-2012

[QUOTE=Tomasio;12186112][B][I]Wow, the ref & 2 out of the 3 judges from California.. They have done everything possible to take away any chance so that Malinga could get a fare shake & now it looks like the only way Malinga could…

Comment by budfr on 05-30-2012

Santa Cruz will KO his azz anyways. The judges are from Cali but he is from. Mexico.

Comment by Bierstadt on 05-30-2012

[QUOTE=koboy;12184493]This is Bull****! They wouldn't dare do this to a European monarch. F)?&!$# double standards.[/QUOTE] European monarchs don't show up to the airport with animal carcasses on. Although Louis XIV may have had a problem with customs as well. [IMG]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/5f/Louis_XIV_of_France.jpg/422px-Louis_XIV_of_France.jpg[/IMG]

Comment by nycsmooth on 05-30-2012

Mendoza's a vg rwef & 2 judges ok but Earle is a WBA ref, blind as a bat, IMO...

Comment by Tomasio on 05-29-2012

[B][I]Wow, the ref & 2 out of the 3 judges from California.. They have done everything possible to take away any chance so that Malinga could get a fare shake & now it looks like the only way Malinga could…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (15)
Top Headlines Coldwell on a "Crazy" 2017: Bellew vs. Haye, McDonnell, More Darren Till, UFC Fighter, Inks Pact With MTK Global Parker: I Think We're Close To Locking in Anthony Joshua Fight Jeff Horn Angry: Online Keyboard Warriors Say I Fight Dirty! Wilder: I'll Make Cuban Sandwich Out of 'Bubbles The Chimp' Ortiz! When is a Loss Not a Loss? Photos: Jeff Horn, Gary Corcoran - Face To Face at Final Presser Luis Ortiz: Deontay Wilder is a Coward, I Saw Fear in His Eyes! Arum Denies Pacquiao-McGregor Talk: It's Total Nonsense Salido: All of The Wars Caught Up With Me, I'm an Old Fighter Now Andre Ward: Farmer Robbed, But He Can Bounce Back From This Arum: Lomachenko is Superhuman, Rigo Was Totally Bewildered! Video: Francisco Vargas Talks Comeback Win, Future Plans Lomachenko: Gary Russell Really Doesn't Want a Rematch With Me DeGale Unsure of Career Future, To Decide After New Year White Warns Arum: We'll See Where You Stand When Smoke Clears! Video: Miguel Roman Reflects on KO of Salido, Future Opponents Tevin Farmer: I Worked Too Hard To Get Robbed, I Deserved Win Video: Andre Ward on Loma-Rigo, Salido, Kovalev Return, More Lomachenko On Rigondeaux Injury: I've Fought With One Hand Macklin Expects Michael Conlan To Step Things Up in 2018 Lomachenko vs. Rigondeaux Generates Big Rating For ESPN Marquice Weston Wins, James Ballard Stretched in Upset Arum: Lomachenko Would Make Joke of Mikey Garcia, Make Him Quit Tyson Fury: I'll Annihilate Bellew, Uppercut Him To The Roof! Photos: Miguel Roman Stops, Retires Orlando Salido in a War Lomachenko on Rigondeaux: I Learned Nothing, It Was Easy! Photos: Lomachenko Makes Guillermo Rigondeaux Quit in Six Photos: Michael Conlan, Shakur Stevenson, Diaz, Jennings Win Photos: Jean Pascal Ends Career With Shock Stoppage of Elbiali Truax: The Fights DeGale Kept Talking About - Now They Are Mine! Lomachenko: Rigondeaux is Not a Big Win For Me, Not His Weight Video: Team Rigondeaux Provide Update on Hand Injury Lomachenko-Rigondeaux: CompuBox Punch Stats, Other Facts Arum: Where Did Rigo Hurt His Hand? In The Dressing Room? Video: Vasyl Lomachenko Reacts To Rigondeaux Quitting Lomachenko: I Should Change My Name To 'No Mas Chenko' Orlando Salido: That's It, I'm Done, This Was My Last Fight Miguel Roman Drops, Shocks Orlando Salido For Big TKO Win Orlando Salido vs. Miguel Roman - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement