South Africa’s oldest reigning boxing champion, Mzonke “The Rose of Khayelitsha” Fana is on a mission to become the country’s first grandfather to hold the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) title.
At the age of 43, Fana is not only South African boxing’s most senior citizen, but he can take pride in being a granddad to five-year-old Ayanda.
This accomplishment makes Fana the country’s first active champion to achieve such a feat. He currently has three titles – the SA lightweight, WBO Pan African lightweight and World Boxing Federation international lightweight crowns.
The Khayelitsha, Cape Town, veteran will challenge Britain’s Terry Flanagan for the WBO lightweight title at the Manchester Arena in Lancashire on July 7.
Fana hopes to win the championship and inscribe his name into the history books by being a granddad and world champ at the same time.
“I am extremely happy to be the country’s [only] active boxer who has a grandchild. My goal is to be South Africa’s [only] golden oldie with a world title. This will be a great gift to my grandson,” said Fana.
A veteran of 47 professional fights, Fana said he had trained hard for the match-up.
The fight will be promoted by Queensbury Promotions.
“Flanagan is a good champion who comes forward all the time. I won’t show him any respect, as I’m gunning to win,” said Fana.
Flanagan stopped American Jose Zepeda to be crowned WBO champion at the Velodrome in Manchester last July.
So far unbeaten in 30 starts, Flanagan has the distinction of being the first Englishman to win a world title as a lightweight.
But Fana hopes his experience will see him take the WBO diadem.
Having defended his South African crown seven times, Fana also held the International Boxing Federation super featherweight crown, which he lost to Cassius “Hitman” Baloyi by majority decision at the Carousel in 2008.
This granddad still has a thing or two left to prove by winning the WBO crown.