Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Self-exiled former two-weight world boxing champion Lovemore “The Black Panther” Ndou will be inducted into the Australian Boxing Hall of Fame on Saturday.   

Ndou‚ the 47-year-old former IBF junior welterweight and IBO and WBF welterweight title holder‚ has lived in Australia since 1996 and he said the ceremony would take place at the Pullman Hotel in Melbourne‚ Victoria.

‘‘I am so excited‚” said the fighter, who retired in 2012 after capturing the IBF Pan Pacific and WBF welterweight belts after defeating Gairy St Clair.

Ndou‚ who has fought big names including Sharmba Mitchell‚ Miguel Cotto‚ Paul Malignaggi‚ Canelo Alvarez‚ Kell Brook and Phillip Ndou‚ boasted 31 knockouts in 49 wins against 13 losses and two draws.

He was once chief sparring partner for flamboyant star fighter Floyd “Money” Mayweather Junior and remains the only boxer in history to have doubled as a fighter while practising as a lawyer.

Today Ndou owns the Lovemore Lawyers firm in Sydney.

He is also the first world champion boxer to graduate with seven university degrees and is currently studying for a PhD in law.

Australia adopted Ndou after he had gone there to fight Antonio Tunacao in 1996, and that country will now induct him in its structure housing memorials to famous or illustrious individuals.

That country made it possible for him to better his life academically.

“It’s an honour to be recognised as having made a major contribution to Australian boxing in particular‚ bearing in mind that I was not born in this country‚” he said.

“History also shows that I am the first Australian-based‚ African-born fighter to ever win a world title on Australian soil.”

Ndou won the IBF strap on February 4 2007 after defeating Naoufel Ben Rabah in Sydney.

“Australia allowed me to put my country of birth‚ SA‚ on the world map‚” said the proud South African, who intends to come back home and be involved in politics.

“I believe this induction is the beginning of many big things to come for me. I always tell any aspiring young person I talk to that the life you live today dictates your future. I’ve worked hard.

“I will‚ however‚ be the first to acknowledge that I did not do it all on my own. This is the result of a collaborative effort of a team that worked together to achieve a common goal. That team involves all who worked with me throughout my career.

“In that respect, I would like to share the award that comes with the induction with everyone that has ever been part of my team.”

There has been talk of a boxing hall of fame in SA to honour men and women who have contributed to the sport. Boxing SA CEO Tsholofelo Lejaka revealed that a boxing hall of fame is part of the organisation’s five-year strategy.