The trainer told the hard punching young hopeful from Africa that Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather was a coward who would run if you hit him hard enough. He was wrong.
Phillip Ndou, from Thohoyandou in Limpopo in northern South Africa, was the only African to fight Mayweather. In Grand Rapids Michigan in the United States, in 2003, Ndou became the 13th victim in Mayweather’s run of 47 unbeaten fights.
Ndou’s 33rd fight ended in a technical knockout in the seventh round. Mayweather, with fast fists of fury, proved more courageous than cowardly.
In January 2014, a 37-year-old Ndou met Mayweather for the first time in 13 years over a dinner table. It was at a gala dinner for Mayweather at Emperors Palace, the boxing mecca of Johannesburg. It proved excruciating for Ndou, who is still coming back from brain damage he suffered in a fight in 2004.
In the middle of the event, sports commentator Robert Marawa, the master of ceremonies, called Ndou on stage to meet Mayweather.
“There’s a gentleman in the audience by the name of Phillip Ndou, I believe you know him, I believe you punched him, I believe you knocked him out,” Marawa said to Mayweather.
On stage, Ndou asked Mayweather for a rematch, but the American brushed him off with respect.
“If you wanna be the best, you gotta fight the best. That particular time he was one of the tough guys. He put pressure on me, he bruised me,” said Mayweather of Ndou.