CONDOLENCES are pouring in after the death of Gauteng provincial welterweight boxing champion Boitshepo “Gangster” Mandawe. The 30-year-old from Meadowlands, Soweto, is reported to have been stabbed to death on Sunday.

Steve Mayisela, who once managed Mandawe, said on Monday he was heartbroken.

The son of the former South African junior welterweight champion Arthur “Fighting Prince” Mayisela issued a stern warning to boxers to stay away from bars and taverns.

“It is all about ill-discipline. You cannot frequent bars and taverns as a boxer because you will encounter problems, especially if you happen to be a cause of problems at times,” Mayisela said.

Promoter Mxolisi Gumede said: “I heard about Mandawe’s death and it really disturbed me …. Our condolences go out to his family.”

Boxing SA’s Gauteng manager Archie Nyingwa said: “Boxers’ lives are being taken away by guns and knives. This is very sad.”

Mandawe’s death follows that of rising boxing star Lwando “Floyd” Molwana who was shot dead in Philippi, Cape Town, last week.

Mandawe’s trainer, Eugene Khanyile, said he could not believe what he was hearing when he was told of Mandawe’s death.

Khanyile also revealed that Mandawe’s last words were, “thank you coach”. Khanyile said he did not understand what Mandawe was thanking him for.

Khanyile’s last assignment with Mandawe was in August in Thailand, where Mandawe was knocked out in the sixth round by Teerachai Kratingdaenggym for the Pan African Boxing Association welterweight belt. It was Mandawe’s seventh defeat against 14 wins. Before that, Khanyile and Mandawe had been in Namibia, where Mandawe was outpointed by Bethuel Ushona over eight rounds.

Mandawe fought his first professional fight in 2007. After nine straight wins, he was beaten on points by Chris van Heerden in an SA welterweight bout in 2009.