World Boxing Foundation (WBF) featherweight champion, Ludumo "Pretty Boy" Galada has died.
He was killed in a car accident in Aliwal North at dawn yesterday.
Galada was driving back home to Mdantsane, East London, from Johannesburg where he'd fetched his ailing brother who survived the accident.
Galada was pencilled to defend against Takalani Ndlovu next Friday night at Mdantsane's Orient Theatre.
Ndlovu was devastated when contacted for comment yesterday.
"I cancelled my 31st birthday celebrations today. I could not believe my ears when Hawk Makepula called me this morning.
"This happens everyday but we just cannot get used to it. May his soul rest in peace," said Ndlovu who said he would try to attend the funeral.
Galada also fought for boxers' rights with Jan Bergman through the National Boxers Association.
"This is the most disgusting joke you have ever told," said Bergman after being informed about the passing on of his colleague. "I spoke to him recently regarding the upcoming convention."
This reporter was informed by Loyiso Mtya and Mpush Makambi around 6am. "What a terrible way to start the year," said a dispirited Makambi.
Mtya described Galada as a disciplined boxer who knew exactly what he wanted from life.
Galada, born in East London on December 20 in 1982, represented South Africa in the All Africa Games and World Championships in Abuja and Bangkok in 2003.
He lost in the elimination stages in the Olympics in Athens in 2004. He turned professional the following year and made an immediate impact, winning the Baby Champs final in 2005.
Galada won the national belt in 2007 and defended it successfully three times. He vacated the throne after winning the WBF strap in August last year.
He stopped Argentinian Pedro Navarrete in two rounds to register his first defence to record his 13th straight win. Galada's skills were honed by Boyboy Mpulampula at Enothole Boxing Gym that lost Samora Msophi last June.
He had been stopped in the fourth round by Mfundo Gwayana for the national flyweight belt. Msophi was attended by ringside doctors who were unable to revive him before he was taken hospital after lapsing into a coma.
Doctors operated to remove what was described as a clot on the brain, but unfortunately he never regained consciousness.