'Unsung hero Terror not given respect'

Unsung boxing hero Peter "Terror" Mathebula has died, promoter Tshele "TK" Kometsi confirmed yesterday.

He said the man who was not given the respect he deserved despite being the first black local boxer in history to win a world title died on Sunday at Leratong Hospital where the 68-year-old former WBA flyweight champion had been admitted after an illness.

"I heard today [yesterday] from the chairperson of the sports portfolio in Gauteng that Mathebula had died.

"It is very sad, especially when you think of the fact that the boxing fraternity did not treat him the way he deserved," Kometsi said.

"If we treat our heroes like this, especially one of us, then it is a serious problem unless the boxing fraternity changes its mindset otherwise this will be a perpetual thing.

"We are talking about the first black world champion from this country."

The last time Mathebula was honoured was in 2017 and it was Kometsi's initiative that was supported by the West Rand municipality which put money upfront and female promoter Shanell Winlock's Victory Sports Production staged a tournament at Ramosa Community Hall in Mohlakeng where Moruti Mthalane stopped Ghanaian Isaac Quaye over two rounds on October 27.

"We were able to give Mathebula's family something," said Kometsi.

Mathebula from Mohlakeng won the WBA title after dethroning Korean Tae Shik Kim via a split points decision over 15 rounds in Los Angeles on December 13 1980.

There was political talk that Mathebula's title defence would legitimise the apartheid regime.

SA experienced international isolation and a cultural boycott. Azapo, the South African Non-racial Olympic Committee and the UN were at the forefront of this boycott.

Mathebula succumbed to a TKO in round seven at Orlando Stadium and hung up his gloves in 1983 with a record of 36 wins, 17 knockouts and nine losses.

Mathebula made a comeback but as a trainer when he assisted Winston Mokone.

Mathebula then disappeared. The former world champion's son Patrick was a good boxer with potential but unfortunately he was carelessly matched and that impacted negatively on his career.

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