Xolisani Ndongeni sacrificed attending his grandfather’s funeral so he could prepare for his big fight against Devin Haney.
The unbeaten Lightweights meet over 10 rounds in Louisiana on Friday, as BoxNation begins its live boxing coverage for 2019 with a bang.
South African Ndongeni’s suffered his tragic family loss last month, but missed the funeral because he was locked in his training camp.
Ndongeni, 28, said: "I could not even bury my grandfather Zolendlini Ndongeni who was buried on December 22nd. That is how committed I am to this fight.”
Although that was tough on the former IBO Champion, who has won all of his 25 professional fights, he reckons it will be child's play when he faces one of world boxing’s biggest prospects.
He has more than eight years on Haney and snapped: “Devin is a baby. The biggest advantage is that they do not know a thing about me. I view this fight as being important for me because victory will open doors for me.
"Remember that at one stage I was rated No 3 by the WBA before I lost that top rating, so victory in this fight will get me recognition from these world bodies," he told SowetanLIVE.
The Eastern Cape man, who won the IBO crown only 16 days after Haney's professional debut in 2015, revealed their paths have already crossed.
Ndongeni recalled: ”We trained together at the gym of Floyd Mayweather Jr when I was in Las Vegas some time back. They say he is the next Floyd but there is only one Floyd Mayweather Jr and that is the retired 'Money' Mayweather.”