We’ve all experienced moments in our lives that have
shaped up, impacted us so much that it’s become an integral part of who we are.
Rajuili, current WBF Lightweight All Africa title holder, that
moment came when he was nine years old.
“My mother woke me up one night and told me she wanted
me to watch this documentary about South African boxing legend Brain
Mitchell,” he explains. David was so inspired by the story of the
famed boxer, that the very next day he started boxing. “I started boxing at the
age of nine and I haven’t looked back since.”
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the better part of 20 years, David has made boxing his life. He officially went
pro when he was 23 years old and has since had seven title fights. For his
upcoming fight, he will be defending his title against Tanzanian Jonas
Segu. In preparation for this, Rajuili has been training hard. Boxers
go through training camps, which are aimed at getting them fighting fit,
with the camps definitely not for the faint-hearted.
David has been training with South African boxing
Fana, a two-time world boxing champion. “Mzonke has broken me
and taken my body to its limits, but he has made me a better boxer,” says
David. Mzonke says that when it came to David’s training he wasn’t trying to
change anything, but rather help to hone his skills as a fighter.
training has been a combination of various things, from bag and pad work to
sparring and conditioning. And because boxing requires a lot of stamina, David
puts his time into running. “I started at about 8km runs, then worked up to
12km, and sometimes I’ll do a big 16km run,” he says.
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clear to see why David says that training is downright gruelling. “Boxing is
fine, it’s the training that is painful,” he explains. The 29-year-old
goes on to say that boxing is a lonely sport. “You’re training and doing weight
cuts, so you can’t go out much and be with friends, that’s what some of the
sacrifices come down to.”
As a fighter, you’re not just sacrificing time with
your loved ones, but have to be disciplined with the way you eat, too.
up to weigh-ins, fighters are expected to meet certain weight classes, many do
this by “cutting weight”. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, cutting weight is
the practice of losing a large amount of weight in a short period of time.
often involves a level of dehydration and limiting the amount of salt, sugar
and carbs one consumes. For David, he’s been eating a diet high in protein, so
loads of egg whites, fish and chicken. And during all of this, fighters are
still training hard.
says that this is difficult as your body is tired and sore. “During weight cuts
you find yourself asking ‘Why am I doing
this?’. But you have to persevere through it all.”
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Giving up is never an option
his career and life, David has shown that through dedication and perseverance,
you can be unstoppable. “There are times I wanted to give up, throw in the
towel, but you have to keep pushing,” he says.
goes on to say that his mother must have wanted him to learn something from the
Brian Mitchell documentary. “I think what my mom wanted me to see, was that
with hard work and persistence, anything is possible.”
advice to anyone looking to make it into boxing is simple – never give up. “Keep
pushing, no matter what obstacles come your way. Just keep the faith and one
day it will all pay off,” he advises.
This article was originally published on www.mh.co.za
Image credit: iStock