It was the most anticipated event on the 2022 South African boxing calendar and when the first bell rang, Cassper Nyovest versus Anga Makubalo aka NaakMusiq did not disappoint the television and Sun City Superbowl audience; it is therefore no surprise that other celebrities such as Dr Malinga have caught the boxing bug.
Tale of the tape
Physically the two fighters were evenly matched, but with Mufasa expected to have more endurance, given that he is 3 years younger than his 34 year old opponent. Although boxing aficionados would have flagged NaakMusiq’s age as his Achilles, the singer-actor has 6cm advantage in reach and 6cm in height. Depending on one’s perspective, Cassper Nyovest’s 5kg advantage on the scale meant his punches were expected to have greater momentum or that his lighter opponent would be slightly more mobile. But after the first bell rings, the gloves speak louder than statistics on paper.
Cassper Nyovest accepts defeat
Cassper Nyovest seemed to outpunch NaakMusiq in the opening round and as the fight wore on, both fighters resorted to holding one another in order to steal seconds of rest. NaakMusiq’s social media fans hyped their idol with the hashtag #NaakHimOut but there was to be no knockout punch or even a knockdown with the visibly exhausted pugilists barely making it to the fifth and final round. The closest the fighters came to a knockdown was when both men hit the canvas but the referee judged it to be a slip and fall. Slow motion replays, however, show a burst of perspiration spraying from NaakMusiq’s head at the moment of impact with Nyovest’s powerful right hook. Had Nyovest stayed on his feet, the blow would have been more evident. The Gusheshe rapper might be feeling robbed when he analyses the video recording.
After the judges’ decision was announced, Cassper Nyovest was gracious in defeat as he pronounced that he lost fairly. The victor, NaakMusiq also exhibited humility in celebrating his conquest. However, in the early hours of this morning, Cassper Nyovest seemed to question the judges’ decision, judging by the tweet below:
— Don Billiato (@casspernyovest) April 9, 2022
Although Cassper Nyovest may have lost in the ring, his bank account won’t have been harmed much. Having launched a line sneaker and alcohol, the Tito Mboweni chanter has now added boxing promotion to his growing CV through his Billiato brand, co sponsors of the event.
Dr Malinga tests positive for boxing fever
The Celeb City event was followed by both celebrities, boxing fans and music enthusiasts who were merely intrigued by the idea of a singer and a rapper going glove to glove in the square ring. The Housekeepers star, Thando Thabete tweeted in support of the much-anticipated fight after NaakMusiq was declared winner. Celebrated sportscaster and businessman, Robert Marawa, who is known more for football, also gave his support with his attendance along with Big Brother Mzansi contestants as did KwaZulu Natal’s own Big Zulu. Top Twitter personalities, Cellular and Advocate Berry Roux also stayed up to witness the historical event with the latter tweeting running commentary live from the Superbowl.
This was hella entertaining #CassperNyovestVsNaakmusiQ
— Thando Thabethe (@Thando_Thabethe) April 9, 2022
What SA sport needed!! A spark!!!
— robertmarawa (@robertmarawa) April 9, 2022
— Cellular® (@Cellular_Jnr) April 9, 2022
— JabulaniMacdonald⚡ (@Jabu_Macdonald) April 9, 2022
But Dr Maliga, real name Goodwill Malinga went beyond merely supporting the fight which many believe has “revived local boxing”. The Orlando hitmaker challenged the burly Big Zulu to a boxing match via his verified Twitter account. At the time of going to press, the Ivolovolo and Mali Eningi singer who celebrated his birthday last week, had neither responded nor acknowledged the challenge. If the big lyricist were to accept Dr Malinga’s challenge the fight would surely attract a great deal of interest. However, sceptics on social media seem to believe that the challenge by the high kicking Dr Malinga is an attempt at reviving his “waning” career.
Give me BIg Zulu i beg thanks bye 🙏
— DR MALINGA (@drmalinga) April 9, 2022
Whatever the reason behind the Dr Malinga challenge, the fight would draw crowds. Throughout the ages, even before the Roman gladiators, mankind has always been drawn to violent sport. It is this bloodlust that makes boxing one of the most watched sports, the world over. The 1974 Rumble In The Jungle between the legendary Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, held in Kinshasa as reportedly watched by one billion spectators (two billion according to other sources) at a time when the global population was just four billion, meaning that a quarter of the world witnessed the iconic fight. Humanity’s insatiable hunger for blood sport is the reason why every street brawl has more people cheering than those who want to stop the violence. If the 41-year-old Dr Malinga merely seeks to kickstart his career – pun intended – then he has chosen one sure way of achieving that.