When reading old newspaper and magazine articles, you come across fascinating facts long forgotten.
Example: Johnny Squires, who won the SA heavyweight title by stopping Nick Van den Berg in the eleventh round at Durban City Hall on August 12, 1922, was the first South African to record a record at Madison Square Garden in New York. was a person He fought WL “Young” Stribling on his September 6th, 1928 at the famous venue.
Squires landed a hard punch in the first minute of the fight, and his left eye was nearly closed shortly afterwards. He was also bleeding from his mouth and collapsed near the end of the round after being hit by his big left.
He made a mistake by jumping up without taking a count, then immediately went down again, this time taking a 5 count.
Early in the second round, Stribbling landed several solid punches to the head and the referee stopped the fight just 44 seconds into the round.
Mute the deaf in the ring
When future SA Featherweight Champion Ernie Eustis fought Scottish Champion ‘Def’ Burke on April 7, 1926 in Johannesburg, an unusual problem had to be solved.
Burke was deaf and had to write everything down in order for him to communicate.
Referee Tiny Dean said that if there was a knockdown, he would “pass” his hand in front of Burke.
All was well until Burke was knocked out in the third round. Of course, with his head between his knees, he couldn’t see Dean’s hands.
Thinking quickly, Dean tapped him on the neck while counting. But after he reached the age of nine, he forgot that the Scots could not hear him, and shouted “Out!”
One of the best in FREE STATE’S
Johnny Ralph, who won the SA Heavyweight title in February 1947, was one of the best boxers to come out of the Orange Free State. However, he had unsuccessful fights with Freddie Mills and Bruce Woodcock, losing within distance on both occasions.
But there are other free-state fighters to watch. One was Tom Holdstock, who represented South Africa in the light heavyweight division at the 1920 Belgian Olympics. He also fought professionally, competing in the heavyweight division from 1923 to 1933.
George “Bohr” Rodell, also a heavyweight, was born on September 14, 1887 on a farm near Kroenstad. He fought from his 1911 to his 1916, campaigning in England and America as well, with considerable success.
SA Heavyweight Champion Johnny Squires was born in Bloemfontein on Christmas Day 1901. He had several fights in Australia and in the United States against Johnny Risco where he scored points over ten rounds. He also painted with Ted Kidd his Lewis in Johannesburg in January 1928.
Len McLaughlin won the SA amateur bantamweight title in 1929 and was eliminated in the 1930 Empire Games trials by the famous Johannesburg native Laurie Stevens. As a professional, McLoughlin won his SA featherweight title in July 1932 by defeating Willie Smith.
Jopy Grayling, also born in Bloemfontein, was an outstanding amateur. He won his SA junior welterweight division in his 1953 and his 1954, and won the welterweight gold medal at his game at the Commonwealth in Cardiff, Wales in 1958.
Stevens was shocked by Drifter
On November 3, 1934, in Johannesburg’s Old Wanderers Ground, SA lightweight champion Laurie Stevens took on Italian Aldo Spoldi in a memorable match.
Stevens, in his usual gallant style, stormed into the opening round with a body attack, but was knocked down for the first time in his career. sent back to
Stevens forced himself to his feet at the count of six, but Spoldy rushed in and knocked him down again. The South African was saved by Bell and dragged back by Cornerman.
Somehow, as the Italian started to tire, he won some of the next rounds.
Holloway and Malone battle to a 73-round draw
In another epic encounter, on July 3, 1893, Jim Holloway and Bernie Malone drew over 73 rounds on a farm on Old Kimberley Road.
Although prize fighting was illegal at the time, police guarded the fighters as they made their way to the venue.
The fight started at 07:45 and was declared a draw at 13:00.
Peter Matebra, first black South African to win a world title
Against the odds, South African Peter Masebra traveled to Los Angeles to win the WBA flyweight title on December 13, 1980 when he boxed out Taeshik Kim of South Korea over 15 rounds. Became the first black South African fighter to win a world title.
TSIETSE MARETLOANE WINS THE BEST TITLE
Tsietsie Maretloane defeated Freddie Rust in Cape Town for the South African featherweight title to become the first South African fighter to win the Supreme title.
“TAP TAP” Makatini ONE OF THE BEST
Southpaw Elijah “Tap Tap” Makatini was the first black South African to take full advantage of new opportunities when South Africa’s apartheid government allowed black fighters to meet white fighters. won South Africa’s premier middleweight title by stopping Jan Keith, and remained a top-level and dangerous puncher until his retirement in 1980.
Makatini will probably always be remembered for his spectacular knockout of Charlie Weir on 25 April 1979 in Durban and his hard-hitting knockout of Daniel Mapanya.
Norman “Pangaman” was an excellent fighter, but Sekgapane, born in Tafelkop in the Koster district of West Transvaal on 12 March 1948, had an outstanding career, but was born on 29 August 1978. met Antonio Cervantes at Mmabatto on 2016 and won the World Junior Welterweight Championship, but he was probably just past his best and was stopped in the ninth round.
One of South Africa’s greatest fighters to never win a world title is Puerto Rico’s world WBA junior lightweight title holder April 14, 1979 at Cape Showgrounds, Goodwood, Cape Town. It was Nkosana “Happy Boy” Mugusagi who challenged Sam Serrano.
Early in the fight, Mgxaji presented Serrano with some issues and had a brief moment of glory when he dropped the champion with a right to the chin in the fifth round.
However, he never followed up and Serrano ended the fight with a left hook followed by a right hook in the eighth round, and Mgxaji’s seconds were thrown in the towel.