Mpush Makambi
1967 -

Former Apla Cadre, SA Boxing & IBO Champion

Mpush Makambi was born in 1967 in Mdantsane, Eastern Cape. At school, Makambi was sporty but boxing was his first love. He turned professional in 1983 with a fight against Xolile Nano and won it comfortably. However, being a disgruntled young man with the apartheid system he placed his boxing career on hold in favour of politics. In the late mid-1980s he joined the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) and was deployed in its military wing Azanian People's Liberation Army (Apla). In a fierce battle between Apla cadres and the South African Defence Force (SADF) near the Botswana border, Makambi was shot in the left leg. He crawled to the nearby village and the Botswana army got to him before the SADF did. He was treated at Francistown in Botswana and later transferred to Zimbabwe.

The PAC withdrew him from active service and he went to United States to further his education. Having been told in Zimbabwe by doctors that he would never walk properly again, through “spiritual healing” Makambi defied that by starting jogging and was back to his old self. In 1990, free from pain, in his first fight in the United States, Horace Cooper defeated him on points. With the banning of liberation movements, Makambi returned home and continued to box. In 1998 Makambi became the South Africa Champion and defended the title three times before meeting Adrian Dobson for the vacant International Boxing Organisation middleweight title fight on 8 September 1998 which he won on technical knockout on the 11 th round. In 1999 he was voted King Korn boxer of the year by South African boxing writers. He was also nominated in United Kingdom for a best foreign fighter for his fight against Dobson. In 1999 he backed out of World Boxing Council Title fight in Nigeria hours before he was due to fight citing overweight.

Makambi a devout Christian is a veteran of 47 fights, 26 wins, eight losses and three draws. He is still an active boxer and stays in East London, in the Eastern Cape.