South African boxing pioneer dies

Peter Mathebula created history in 1980 when he won World Boxing Association title fight

LEGEND: Peter Mathebula

THE FIRST black South African to win a world boxing title has died at the age of 67.

Peter Mathebula created history in 1980 when he beat fellow flyweight Tae-Shik Kim of South Korea at the World Boxing Association title fight in Los Angeles.

His fearsome skill inside the ring earned him the nickname “Terror”.

Mathebula, nicknamed ‘Terror’, had been “in and out of hospital before deteriorating”,  his sister Dianah Tlhale told SABC. He died at Leratong Hospital on January 18.

He retired from boxing aged 31, and went into coaching young boxers.

His daughter, Thembi Mathebula, said her father was first admitted to hospital in November before he was discharged to spend the whole of December with his family.

“But in January we could see that his condition was getting worse‚ so we sent him back to hospital where he passed away after three weeks of his admission‚” she said.

Mathebula’s death sent shock waves throughout the entire boxing fraternity with Boxing South Africa chief executive Tsholofelo Lejaka describing it as the sad moment for the sport.

“The legend has gone‚ long live the legend‚” Lejaka said.

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