The Art of Bruising

Boxing isn’t what most thirty-something mother-of-two-boys take up as a hobby. Which is probably what made me do it in the first place.

Between 2010 and 2011 I fought in three “white collar” boxing matches (two in Cape Town, one in Johannesburg), gotten a blood nose at least once, and walked away with some beautiful bruises (ice works best) and even better stories.  

Over the last five years I have come to love a sport I once thought of as violent – in the wrong ring it can be, but with the right match it’s a graceful science – and have been lucky enough to meet and work with some great boxers and trainers, including seeing my very first trainer Isaac “Golden Boy” Chilemba make the transition from world champion to prize fighter in the United States. Somewhat unusually, Isaac is managed by a woman (an incredible, dedicated person by the name of Jodi Solomon); it’s one of the reasons why I started training with him in the first place. Isaac and Jodi proved to be the best teachers a novice could ask for: hard taskmasters with good old-fashioned ethics and values.

I have written about boxing for the Mail & Guardian, the Sunday Times, Women’s Health and Sports Illustrated.

I’m not planning on lacing up my fighting gloves any time soon (it’s darn scary), but I continue to train with Alan Toweel, part of the legendary Toweel boxing clan.

[Pictures on this page are by Nadine Hutton, David Harrison, Morne van Zyl and Paul Gilowey]