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Team Armoury

The Armoury provides the ultimate boxing and fitness experience.  Those who can, do, and Team Armoury box. All of us. We’re not talking trainers who come to the gym to worship their beautifully buffed bodies, check their texts and sell you protein shakes. We’re the real deal, done the 10,000 hours and mastered the craft. Our Boxing Coaches are highly qualified, proudly distinctive and second to none. But it’s not about us – making you the best you can be; that’s what we’re about. 

the boxing coaches

Boxing is serious, not a game, and shouldn’t be taught by people who don’t know what they’re talking about. Our coaches are, or were, serious boxers and are formally qualified – which makes them technicians, tacticians and physical trainers of note. Team Armoury is proud of the boxing records of its coaches, many of them ex-professional, but they’re all humble nice guys and the club isn’t built around their egos.

Aladin Kalwira

Aladin is the original Armoury coach who goes all the way back to our Harrington Street roots. Known respectfully as ‘Coach’, Aladin hails from Bukara, Democratic Republic of Congo. He started boxing aged 13 with a local professional and African title holder and developed a passion for the sport. Seeking new opportunities, he moved to Cape Town and built his reputation for excellence at the former Harrington Street Boxing Gym.

Believing in the life transforming value of discipline and daily training, Aladin has helped make boxing more accessible to the local community and even took two lads from the street to silver medals at the provincial championships. In addition to his formal boxing coaching qualifications, Aladin is a trained Personal Trainer and combines the best of both to deliver awesome results for his loyal one-on-one coaching clients. White collar, Amateur, blue collar, hipster, whatever, he’ll make you a Champ.

Ilitch Zadeh

Ilitch, from Frechen in Germany was introduced to boxing at age 10. His father who was a big boxing fanatic and also competed in his younger days was insistent the he start boxing early in life. Ilitch had a very turbulent relationship with the sport until his first competition at age 12 after which he was hooked. At 17 finding himself training in Cologne with the top German champs and competing on the national team against France, Ireland. Poland, Czech, Netherlands and Belgium. He was competing at top level and assisting with international training camps. By 22 he had 80 fights with 50W 28L 2D

He is methodical in his approach to training, a highly motivated individual with a true appreciation for the art of boxing

Luyanda Mangcotywa

Lu, from Eastern Cape, is a local lad with a broad smile and an infectious laugh who is big into his boxing and fitness training. At school, he was decorated as the ‘best sports achiever’ but his passion lay in boxing. A keen amateur, he has bagged five Provincial gold medals, three silvers and a bronze in the junior welterweight division.A qualified Personal Trainer who also has a diploma in Sport Development and Management, he comes to the Armoury from stints at Virgin Active and Zone Fitness.

He has a history of volunteering with community programmes, where he provided sports & recreation instruction to children and the elderly, and also with the Vukuzenzele youth boxing club. He believes that boxing gives us self-discipline and the confidence to succeed in life, and he walks the talk!

Richard Murriri

Richard, from the Midlands Province in Zimbabwe was a champion gymnast who got into boxing aged 16. He won his first amateur fight two weeks later and was the national bantam weight champion six months after that. He turned pro in 2003 and had 26 fights (15 wins: 10 losses: 1 draw), many internationally.

Since retiring as a pro he has been a coach and sparring partner.For Richard, boxing is a way of life. A fitness fanatic who loves to share his passion, he says, “Pain is temporary but pride is forever.” A great motivator, he’ll keep you on your toes and present in the moment: waiver, and he’ll remind you why you need to be training!


Sting, From Gweru in Zimbabwe, came to The Armoury the hard way, working his way up through the ranks of amateur and professional boxing. He started boxing aged seven and by nineteen was the national champion.

He competed in the All Africa Games as a light-heavyweight and turned professional in 2006. The Zimbabwean cruiser-weight championm he fought internationally against the likes of Danie Venter, Zack Mwekasa and world champion Isaac Chilmenda. With Sting, you don’t play boxing – he’s a tough taskmaster who’ll push you to be your best. 

Mdu "Mandela" Mncube

Coach Mdu affectionately known as “Mandela” was born and raised in Gauteng, where he started boxing as a teenager. He very quickly started competing on the amateur circuit  completing 20 fights- all wins. At 18 he decided to move to Cape Town where his older brother was building a stable of his own. Fighting regularly on the Cape Town circuit and competing in SA Champs, this is where he did up a bad shoulder injury but kept fighting and took 4th in the light welterweight division. He then went on to the pro-scene but after a couple fights his brother past away and Mdu decided to take a break from pro boxing and this break would  give him the chance to attend to the proper recovery of his shoulder and time to thinkg about his boxing career. Whilst in recovery he purseud studies in fitness, after his first qualification he decided to devote his time to being a full time trainer and continously furhter his studies in the fitness industry.

Today he is a qualified personal trainer, specializing in boxing fitness and resistance training. Training is what brings him motivation and joy and it shines through in his training every day.


the guvnors

The Armoury was born out of Steve Burke’s passion for White Collar boxing and good old-fashioned Para style physical training. There wasn’t a gym that could give him that, so he started his own. And check out Ailsa, the Manager, if she’s not behind the desk you’ll find her sparring in the ring.

Steve Burke

Steve was formerly an officer in the elite British Parachute Regiment. While commanding his company on counter-terrorist operations, a ceasefire was called so he raised a boxing team to keep the men busy. They were soon the Army champions and Steve was asked to manage the British Army boxing team, experience that he draws on to position The Armoury as a boxing centre of excellence.

“Boxing is tough,” he say’s, “you have to dig deep – physically, mentally, emotionally – and you learn about yourself. But when you’ve been in the ring under those bright lights, when you’ve endured and finished with a warm embrace, a smile on your face and your gloved fist held high – that’s awesome. The Armoury gives regular guys and girls that extraordinary transformational experience, it changes lives”

Ailsa Ramsey

A 100% Capetonian, Ailsa is the unsung hero of the Gunshop, combining a passion for sport with keen management acumen and a strong sense of customer service. Her interests range from diving, hockey, horseback riding and hiking.  Qualified in Sport Management, she interned at various sporting facilities and was a personal trainer and manager of a gym for a number of years; but from the moment she stepped into The Armoury she had to make the managers job hers.  With her wake-up-shake-up personality and tenacity to get the job done, she’s helped steer the club in exciting new directions. With a keen interest in women’s health and fitness, she getting more girls into The Armoury.

You won’t necessarily see Ailsa at Fight Night where she’s behind the scenes making everything work to perfection – but you will likely see her training and trading punches.  Ailsa Ramsey – 100% Armoury.


Isabella Burke

Not your stereotypical boxer – but then who is at The Armoury? Isabella is half British and half Italian, was raised in England and Australia but is staying put in Cape Town, her favourite spot of them all. An investment banker by trade, she came to boxing by way of the Financial Services Fight Night – and by being married to the guvnor. Fight Night made her the hero of her own lunch hour. Just ask and she’ll be delighted to tell you; don’t ask and she’ll tell you anyway!

Isabella is the administrative machine behind the Armoury’s special industry events (financial services, professional services) and, with Ailsa, ensures that everything is planned and executed like clockwork. She takes absolute care of her charges, fussing over every stage of their wonderful journey to Fight Night.

Mark Blagus

Don’t mess with the ref. Mark was boxing competitively before most of us could pee in a straight line. He was the schoolboy champion of Zim when Zim was still Rhodesia and he toured SA conquering all. Then he took time out as a paratrooper. ‘Old and bold,’ maybe, and a bit slower too, but he has a wise head.

Not that he ever needed to win his spurs, but he’s done an Armoury Fight Night anyway. Sparring with him is a learning experience but don’t get too cocky or he’ll nail you with a punch that you’ll never see coming.

Mark is the Armoury’s resident ref and his calming influence and attention to safety is always appreciated. He enters the ring with a knowledge, appreciation and sensitivity to the sport that far surpasses that of the average boxer or fight fan. With Mark, we’re in expert hands.

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Get in Touch

TEL: 021 461-9141