What is the link between the national formal economy on the one hand, and on the other, local community based economic and leisure cultures, which may have been largely self-sustaining but interminably precarious? What goes with the working title of “the boxing economy of the Eastern Cape” seems one such local economy. For over three decades, and nicknamed “The Boxing Mecca” of South Africa, the boxing culture of East London/Mdantsane has produced no less than 20 world champions and more than 50 national champions. This achievement even by global standards is phenomenal.
This study is a reflective and speculative approach to this Eastern Cape boxing phenomenon. It links the narratives of three legendary boxers from their respective generations; traces continuities and discontinuities in a boxing culture that reveals