The shackles are finally off.
After much toing and froing, Lusanda Kominisi has finally wangled a release from his contract and signed a deal with Golden Gloves.
The former IBO featherweight has been stymied by a lack of action, but he’s energised after signing up and looking to make waves. But it won’t be as a featherweight.
He was stopped in his last fight, having drained himself to the point of being utterly weakened against Jhack Tepora. It was a big lesson for the former IBO champion, who is skipping junior-lightweight altogether and will compete at lightweight under the Golden Gloves banner.
“He’s an exciting fighter, a big puncher,” said promoter Rodney Berman. “It’s not a question of building him up again. The loss was an aberration; he had no hope at that weight. But he’ll be strong at lightweight. I’ll try and push for a big fight to get him a WBC or IBF rating. He’s a great signing and adds marvellous depth to our stable.”
The plan is to feature him at Emperors Palace on September 1.
A product of the boxing-rich Mdantsane township in the Eastern Cape, Komanisi trains under the guidance of Phumzile Mathyila, the former SA bantamweight champion, at Brendon Katz’s Fight Sport Centre in Norwood.
Katz, a former MMA fighter, keeps an eye on Komanisi and likes what he sees. “I spent many years with [late trainer] Nick Durandt, who was brilliant. Komanisi is very good – he just needs the opportunity to show he still has it. He’s now with the premier promoter in South Africa, so it’s game on.”
Komanisi (21-4) has scored several notable wins since his pro debut 11 years ago, chiefly against Roli Gasca (twice) and Macbute Sinyabi.
He now has a prime opportunity to reinvigorate a career that threatened to stall. Given the right environment and the fights, it shouldn’t be long before the 28-year-old is near the top again.