I cried when Siyolo Sabula, a good friend and a boxing man through and through, called on Monday morning to inform me about the death of Samora Msophi.
Msophi died after undergoing an operation to remove a blood clot from his brain.
He had collapsed in the boxing ring in round four of a bout at the famous Orient Theatre in Eastern Cape last Friday night.
This during his failed attempt to dethrone Mfundo Gwayana of his SA junior flyweight crown.
Msophi was affectionately known in boxing circles as "Laciar". The Mdantsane pugilist got the nickname from trainer Dudu Bungu, who had noticed that Msophi's style of fighting was just like that of the late Mzukisi "Laciar" Skali.
Sabula, a retired professional boxer who was involved with promoter S'Phatho Handi in staging the bout, described Msophi as one of the bright stars of the Enothole Boxing Gym in Mdantsane.
He said Msophi died at about 9am on Monday at the Cecilia Makiwane Hospital in Mdantsane.
The operation to remove the blood clot was done on Saturday at 3am.
Msophi's career started in 2005, and by the time he died this week at the age of 25 he had notched up eight wins - five knockouts and two losses.
Msophi's death brought back sad memories of what happened to Jacob Morake against Brian Mitchell at Sun City on November 2 1985.
Morake challenged Mitchell for the national junior lightweight title. It was their fourth fight.
A visibly exhausted Morake collapsed after taking a pounding in the remaining minute of the 12th and final round. He had to be stretchered to the Lady Dudley Hospital in Pretoria, where he died the following day from head injuries.
I sobbed uncontrollably when that happened. "Dancing Shoes" was my stablemate at the Golden City gym in the Jabulani Men's Hostel.
The truth must be told, though.
Damage begins when boxers reduce weight and is compounded by sparring in gyms in preparation for their fights.
The latest tragedy has robbed Msophi of a talented young athlete, a soldier who died with his boots on.
Msophi will be buried in Mdantsane on July 13.