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Maretloane and other ex-champs honoured

Boxer was first black South African to win undisputed SA featherweight title

Tsietsi Maretloane was SA featherweight.
Tsietsi Maretloane was SA featherweight.
Image: Supplied

Tsietsi Maretloane’s historic victory in becoming the first black South African boxer to win the undisputed SA featherweight title in 1977 has not gone unnoticed.

Promoter Jacob Mnisi’s J4Joy International Boxing Tournament together with Boxing SA honoured the fallen hero posthumously on Sunday.

This happened at Feather Theatre Hall in Gqeberha. That is where the Mpumalanga-based boxing company staged a three-title tournament. 

Maretloane’s victory came just after fights between black and white South Africans had been legalised by the SA Boxing Board of Control.

The system of “white” and “supreme” title fights which prevented black and white fighters fighting against each other was then discarded.

Born in Mdantsane near East London on May 26 1954, Maretloane made his professional debut in 1973. He died of pneumonia in May 2002.

Other icons who were also recognised were Mzwandile Biyana, Phindile Gaika, Nkosana Mgxaji, Nkosasa Moss, Loyiso Mtya and Mzukisi Sikali. Some are still alive while others have passed on.

It all began in July when Mnisi honoured Dingaan Thobela, Sugarboy Malinga, Jacob Matlala, Johannes Sithebe, Tap Tap Makhathini, Jan Bergman and ring announcer Sipho Mashego in Mpumalanga. 

Credit must go to Arnold “Squire” Nododile – the energetic CEO of J4Joy International Promoter – who is at the forefront of his company remembering alive and late icons.

Mnisi said: “Our gratitude to all the royal families for opening doors for us here in Gqeberha. Our next tournament is in Gauteng in November. More legends will be honoured in there where we will have five titles.”

On the boxing front, vastly experienced reigning SA junior featherweight champion Matshidiso Mokebisi laboured against over-matched Monalisa Takane to eventually retain her title by a draw. Scores were 97-91 to Mokebisi; 96-93 to Takane and 94-94. Mokebisi improved to 17 wins against 10 losses and a draw while Takane suffered her first loss after four straight wins.

Earlier, Michael Daries won the Eastern Cape bantamweight title by a first- round KO of Sphenathi Nobandla. In the main attraction, Thato “Captain Charisma" Bonokoane gave himself a special present for his 32nd birthday – the WBF junior featherweight belt – through a majority points decision after 12 rounds against Argentinian Diego Alberto Ruiz.

There were no knockdowns and scores were 114-114; 116-112 and 117-111.

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