Adcorp today revealed that it is supporting Thabiso ‘The Rock’ Mchunu in his journey to becoming the World Boxing Council’s (WBC) cruiserweight world champion.
Adcorp, the largest workforce management player on the African continent, , has sponsored The Rock for over two years now – a commitment which is bearing fruits as Mchunu gears up to overcome the hurdle that stands between him and the World Boxing Council’s cruiserweight championship – a clash with Congolese fighter Ilunga ‘Junior’ Makabu this weekend.
Mchunu will collide with Makabu in KwaZulu-Natal, in their enthusiastically awaited WBC World Title Eliminator on Saturday, May 16, at the Durban ICC. Mchunu is rated second in the global ranks, a spot above Makabu.
If he wins, he will take on Russian Rakhim Chakhkiev, the WBC silver champion, who occupies the number one spot, for the world title – becoming the third African boxer to do so after Sugarboy Malinga and Dingaan Thobela.
The Rock is chasing a legacy of firsts, he says, adding that he wants to win and then defend the title successfully, something no African boxer has yet done.
This dedication and commitment is something Adcorp identified three years ago when Adcorp Executive, Kobus Pienaar was approached by Smith’s Gym about a talented young boxer – Thabiso ‘The Rock’ Mchunu was in need of sponsorship.
“Now the Rock is well on his way to winning a world title. Adcorp recognised his enormous potential early on and agreed to sponsor young talent,” said Pienaar. “We stand by our motto ‘The Power of Potential’ by recognising and rewarding people who display promise. It is very exciting for us to be able to help Thabiso further his career – a career that we watch with great interest.”
Adcorp CEO, Richard Pike said, “We have already walked a long road with Thabiso, and we look forward to ongoing collaboration with both him and Smith’s Gym. There are not many corporates sponsoring talented young sportsmen and we are proud to put the Adcorp name behind such a clean-cut, promising, humble and capable boxer.”
When asked why boxing was chosen as the company’s targeted sport, Pike explained the decision centred more on the person than the sport.
“We saw potential and we had to support it, remaining true to our company values. We believe in The Rock and his abilities, and we have matched that belief with generous and unlimited support, which will see him realise his potential and dreams.”
The Rock comes from a boxing family and has been boxing since he was eight years old. His father, also a former boxer, coached both him and his younger brother. By the age of 11 he was already representing his province, KwaZulu-Natal, and by 17 he was part of the national team.
After a series of major wins, particularly the Super 8 title in 2012, and two trips to the United States of America – the first African boxer to be promoted by an American company – he was crowned North American Boxing Federation (NABF) and Africa Boxing Union (ABU) cruiserweight champion in 2013.
All focus is currently on his shot at the world title. “I am paid to do what I love,” says Thabiso. “It’s something I would not be able to do without the generous support of Adcorp over these critical years in my career. It has helped me to live my dream and I look forward to being able to do great things now and in the future thanks to this sponsorship.”
He explains that boxing requires great discipline and dedication, not only in training, but in lifestyle and diet. He said relies on his Adcorp sponsorship which enables him to focus entirely on his training and career. “There is no way I could take my training to another level without having a roof over my head, eating a good diet, or having the right training equipment and support. Sponsorship delivers all of this to me so I can realise my potential and become a world champion.
Sponsorship is an integral part of a talented boxer’s journey. “Adcorp’s support fuels his dreams of becoming a champion,” says Sean Smith, owner of Smith’s Gym believes boxing in South Africa is on the rise again.
“Boxing is a fulltime sport if one wants to compete at a world class level. Boxers only earn money when they win a fight and require backing for when they are preparing for those fights. This is a career for some people, not just a sport and sponsorship is what creates a career opportunity.”
Pike says “Adcorp is incredibly proud of the achievements Thabiso has already accomplished and will watch the WBC cruiserweight title eliminator on 16 May with great interest. Regardless of the outcome, we know that The Rock is going places and we’re very excited to be involved in this boxer’s career.”