Second Hall of Fame honour for Mitchell

SOUTH AFRICAN boxing great Brian "Mean Machine" Mitchell has now stepped into the class of the world's all-time great fighters.

The former undefeated world junior lightweight champion will later this month be inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in Los Angeles, an honour enjoyed by legends like Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson.

Four months ago this former WBA and IBF junior lightweight champion was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota in New York. With that honour, Mitchell joined boxing icons such as Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Joe Louis and Rocky Marciano. He was inducted alongside Lennox Lewis.

Mitchell, 47, will be now inducted in to the World Hall of Fame in Los Angeles, which has been around for 29 years. The ceremony will start on October 21 and end on October 25.

Mitchell is the first South African boxer to receive the honour. The only other South African inducted into the International Hall of Fame is acclaimed referee and judge Stan Christodoulou. He was honoured in 2004.

"It's been a good year for me and my country," said the humble Mitchell who rose to stardom in 1983 by winning the South African title from Chris Whiteboy in his third year as a professional fighter.

"These achievements say a lot about our country. I am ecstatic. It puts the cherry on top of everything that I have achieved. This is the ultimate prize you get in boxing. It does not get better than this."

Mitchell retired undefeated as WBA and IBF world champ in 1995. He never fought against a white South African opponent. Mitchell revealed that a movie about his life was around the corner. A documentary has already been made.

"SuperSport bought the rights to air it," said the man who who does live boxing commentary for the Chanel of Champions.

As a trainer, Mitchell, produced the first WBO champion for Namibia in Harry Simon. The "Terminator", who was based here, won the junior middleweight belt from feared American Ronald "Winky" Wright in 1998.

Last week Mitchell sat next to former Namibian president Sam Nujoma at ringside when that country's WBA lightweight champion Paulos "Hitman" Moses defended successfully against Takehiro Shimada at the Windhoek Country Club..