'The Rose' still in full bloom
At 43, Mzonke "The Rose of Khayelitsha" Fana still packs an unrelenting jab that comes in fast and mean, contrary to reports that he had eventually brought to an end his illustrious career, which began in 1994.
"I am still heavily involved in boxing as a fighter," said the current South African lightweight champion.
"I read that I have retired and that I am a matchmaker. That is not true. I will be defending my title against Thompson Mokwana in Johannesburg in May to show that I am still a boxer," he said.
Fana has won the SA, IBF (two-times), WBC International, WBA Pan African and WBF Intercontinental junior lightweight, SA, WBA Pan African and WBO Africa lightweight belts in 422 rounds.
Fana has 38 wins from 49 bouts. "Look, when I quit I will still be involved in boxing either as a trainer, manager of even promoter," he said.
"I can safely say I am left with a fight or two ... then it is over."
In his last outing in Ghana, the boxing icon from Western Cape dropped a points decision after 12 rounds to Emmanuel "The Gameboy" Tagoe for a vacant IBO lightweight belt in Accra.
Fana actually went there without a clearance from Boxing South Africa and was hauled over the coals for that.
"I have already written to BSA and humbly apologised. It was wrong of me to do that," he said.
"This is the first time I did that ever since I have been in the fight game since 1994. I humbled myself to BSA because, truthfully, I blundered."
BSA chief executive Tsholofelo Lejaka has since urged all licensees to follow the book to the tee so that BSA was not found wanting when something happened to its licensees outside the country."
He was referring to reports that Fana collapsed and was unconscious after the fight, prompting a frenetic response from medical personnel at ringside.
Fana was resuscitated inside the ring and was rushed to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital for overnight observation.
"It was too hot there," said Fana who has fought in Namibia, UK, US, Finland and the Belgium.