Ex-Maritzburg United winger turns professional kickboxer
CAPE TOWN – Former Maritzburg United winger Orlando Smeekes has turned to kickboxing after hanging up his boots.
The 38-year-old Dutchman spent two seasons in Pietermaritzburg with the Team of Choice, where he played under current and former Kaizer Chiefs coaches Ernst Middendorp and Steve Komphela.
In his time in the KwaZulu-Natal capital, he tormented opposition defenders with his blestering speed, which often had the Harry Gwala faithful constantly on their feet.
Since retiring, Smeekes has returned to the Netherlands and begun a career as a professional kickboxer.
“Becomign a professional kickboxer was always my childhood dream. So this is not going to be a single match for me, but the beginning of a new chapter as an athlete and in my personal life as well,” Smeekes wrote on his Instagram page ahead of his first fight last year, which he won.
He, however, took a beating in his second fight fight against Flores Waalewijn.
While his time in the PSL was brief, Smeekes will be best remembered for his part in an early morning brawl at a 24-hour fast food outlet in Pietermaritzburg in 2014 that left a 23-year-old student dead, and his driver facing murder.
Smeekes’ driver was acquitted of the murder two years ago.