Thu Oct 27 16:48:38 SAST 2016

Thobela's illustrious career bombs

By unknown | Oct 30, 2006 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Bongani Magasela

The illustrious career of Dingaan Thobela, which started in June 1986, ended ignominiously last Friday night when he failed to come out of the against a not so impressive Soon Botes.

The "Rose of Soweto" retired in his stool going for the 10th round because of his out of shape condition

It was Thobela's 14th defeat - his seventh consecutive loss - since surrendering the WBC super middleweight to Dave Hilton in December 2000.

His first short-route defeat was in November 1996 when he was knocked out in two rounds by Geoff McCreesh.

Eric Lucas stopped him in seven rounds for the IBO super middleweight belt in November 2001. Warning signs flashed in December 2004 when Thobela was stopped in four rounds by an unknown Lucian Bute.

Thobela, however, insisted that he still had what it took and renewed his licence.

It was an embarrassing moment for him and those of his family who were at ringside. He had lowered his dignity.

His ballooning midsection and failure to prove that he still had something left in his tank is a clear indication that, so long "The Rose". He could not move or throw a punch. Thobela saw openings against Botes but lack of correlation between his muscled and nervousness saw him hesitate all the time, a sign of being supremely unfit mentally and physically.

Botes himself was no great shakes. He tried everything including dirty tricks such as head butting amd hitting with shoulders and elbows to do away with Thobela.

But instead he found himself on the canvass from a straight right - the only decent punch from Thobela - in the sixth round.

It was a nerve-wracking sporting atmosphere before the fight with people reminiscing about previous upsets caused by Thobela when he had been written off.

It ended in doom and gloom as the country' s most gifted and largely supported pugilist retired in his stool.


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