By Ron Jackson
One of South Africa’s best known trainers Jabulani Malinga known as “Jabu” passed away at his home in Katlehong on the East Rand on Monday night after a long illness. Jabu a former fighter who fought as a lightweight and was trained by Norman Hlabane was better known for managing and training his three sons Peter, Patrick and Vusi. He also trained Nkululeko Mhlongo the current South African junior middleweight champion.
The eldest son Peter was a top class fighter who fought from 1991 to 2006 and won the South African welterweight title in April 1996 when he beat Aaron Kabi. He also went on to win the WBU welterweight title in June of the same year when he knocked Alessandro Duran in the third round.
Peter also lost in a challenge for the WBO welterweight belt against Achmed Kotiev and then captured the IBO welterweight belt in October 1999 with a points victory over Spencer McCracken in Coventry, England.
Patrick who is still active is a former South African lightweight champion and Vusi who is the youngest of the trio is a former South African and WBC International bantamweight champion.
Vusi also had two cracks at winning a world title but was beaten by Houzumi Hasegawa for the WBC bantamweight title and Leo Santa Cruz for the IBF bantamweight title.
I will always remember Jabu as an immaculate dresser with his white hat, at the ringside when he sons were not fighting.