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Ndou's 'bitter' June 16 defeat

By Bongani Magasela | 2017-06-15 10:53:16.0

Australia-based former SA world champion boxer Lovemore "Black Panther" Ndou remembers June 16 1976 with mixed emotions.

"Today I look at my life and profession as an attorney in Sydney and wonder whether if it wasn't for the Soweto youth uprising I would be practising law in a foreign country? I do not think so," said Ndou.

Ndou relocated to Australia in 1995. He said another reason June 16 will always be memorable to him was because he lost his IBF junior welterweight title in dubious circumstances to Paul Malignaggi in the US on June 16 2007.

"I had everything else going against me - from the referee, the judges, the crowd and anything else you could think of. Referee [Eddie Cotton] was my biggest opponent if not my nightmare on the night," reminisced Ndou.

"How the heck did Malignaggi, who punches like my two-year granddaughter, manage to drop me? Only the politics of boxing can explain it. I was an African/Australian fighting in the US against a local fighter. Although I am retired from boxing, I still have ill feelings towards Malignaggi.

"I'm now educated with seven university degrees and a successful career as an attorney with my own law practice. However, if there is anything that would motivate me to return to the ring it would have to be a fight against Malignaggi. I believe this is the only way I could erase that part of June 16 from my memory."

Ndou said he would be at the South African embassy in Canberra tomorrow to commemorate Youth Day with other South Africans living in Australia.