Young Boxer Hit by War, Hit by Xenophobia, Now Fighting Back Positively
A young boxer moved from the Democratic Republic of Congo to live the South African dream. However, he’s had to battle more challenges outside of the ring than in it.
Joel Liborte is a young boxer trying to make a name for himself in the South African boxing world. While some may fear the aggression of the fighting arena, Liborte is no stranger to violence. As a toddler, he was regularly exposed to gang and military violence. Liborte and his family were forced to move around nomadically and sought refuge in South Africa.
However, hopes of a peaceful existence were soon dashed as they had to fight against immigration issues and xenophobia. Just as it seemed his life was merely about overcoming one battle after the other, a friend showed him a different side to combat. Liborte joined the Fight with Insight gym in 2015, which strives to encourage boxing as a form of therapy.
Liborte revealed, “I never knew fighting could be used for good.”
BeautifulNews.co.za reported that Liborte is unfortunately ineligible to compete for national or provincial championships as he is a foreigner. Liborte isn’t letting that get him down though. Appreciative of the opportunities presented to him, he said, “I am very grateful for finding this family in South Africa.”