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WATCH: Eldos’ own woman boxer making waves again! More to follow soon

Taking the SA boxing world by storm

Isaac “Preacher Boy” Wilson (57) is a lean fighting machine who puts his charges through their paces at the swimming pool in Extension Two. Originally fighting out of the Paarl East Amateur Boxing Club in Cape Town, he brought his love for the sport to Eldorado Park when he relocated.

Wilson established the Eastside Boxing Club and is currently training 17 boxers, three of whom are fighting professionally. Melissa “Honey Bee” Miller (30), Steve “Mongoose” Dewu (24) and Skhumbuzo “Mosquito” Tshehla (25) are the professional boxers in the stable and Wilson keeps them fighting fit through a strict training regimen.

Of the lack of training facilities and investment in the sport in Eldorado Park, he said, “We are a gymless team, but we have made history as Melissa Miller is the only female boxer in Eldos to have received an award at the South African Boxing Awards this year.”

“She was named the Prospect of the year at the awards and will be fighting at the Kempton Park Community Hall this Saturday.”


Melissa Miller explained how her interest in the sport was piqued when she joined the club to lose weight as a high school athlete.

“I was an athlete at school and needed to lose weight to compete. It was then I joined the club and started boxing at an amateur level, ” she said.

Miller has been fighting professionally for the past four years and earned her stripes through competing in amateur tournaments.

After a nine-year hiatus, she returned to the sport and is doing away with the notion that a woman cannot make a mark in this male-dominated sport.

She said, “This is way past being a hobby for me and is a full-time career. The sport has helped me maintain focus in and outside the ring and heightened my confidence.”

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Steve Tshehla added, “It has been about six years since my amateur days and coach Isaac trains us to be good all-around fighters. I love the sport and maintain peak physical condition through strict training.”

Sponsorship remains a big concern and the purses are meagre compared to the rest of the world, but Wilson keeps his fighters fit between fights and said that they do not have weight issues before entering the ring as a result.

“At township level, not enough is being done because there are no proper training facilities in Eldorado Park, ” he said.

Anyone interested in the pugilistic arts can contact Isaac Wilson on 073 067 3987, as well as business people interested in providing sponsorship or transportation to tournaments which is a major challenge for the club.

Coach Isaac Wilson putting Melissa through her paces.

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