Blasts from the past: Schutte misses out on Ali bout
This day in sporting history
Today in sports history: March 7
1976 — Alan Toweel, trainer of heavyweight Mike Schutte, says he has turned down a R100,000 offer to fight then world champion Muhammad Ali. “Mike is not ready yet,” said Toweel. “They have accepted my reasons for not wanting an early fight and have sent me a cable to confirm it.” Toweel wanted Schutte to fight two opponents who had already fought Ali, including Chuck Wepner. Schutte would indeed fight Wepner, but the Ali bout never materialised.
1981 — Charlie Weir, one of South African boxing’s biggest drawcards of the 1970s and early 1980s, bombs out world-ranked junior-middleweight Steve Gregory of the US in the third round at Ellis Park. Weir hurt his opponent, rated fifth by the WBA, with two right hands to the head and referee Stan Christodoulou waved it over. Weir would challenge for that organisation’s title the following year.
1999 — Johan Botha beats legendary Wilson Kipketer to win the 800m title at the world indoor championships in Japan. Botha clocked 1min 45.47sec to edge the Kenyan-turned-Dane by two-hundredths of a second.