Blast from the past: Low blows and cuts scupper Skosana

Sport

Blast from the past: Low blows and cuts scupper Skosana

Journalist


Today in SA sports history: November 22
1986 — Simon “Tsipa” Skosana narrowly fails in his bid to capture the WBA bantamweight title, losing on a 15th round knockout against Bernardo Pinango of Venezuela at the Rand Stadium in Johannesburg.
The popular East Rand fighter dropped the champion in the seventh round, but in the eighth he suffered two bad cuts around his left eye and he bled profusely, hampering his performance. Pinango also fought dirty, landing more than 50 low blows, for which he received just three warnings from Colombian referee Uriel Aguilera. At the time of the stoppage Skosana was level on one card and two points behind on the other two.
Years later Skosana described his corner as useless. “Four weeks before the fight I was offered a white cutman. But my black manager didn’t want a white guy in the corner. That’s why I lost,” the boxer said in an interview a few months before his death in 2009. That was the last world title fight to take place in SA until September 1991. Not long before this bout the WBA had taken the decision to suspend SA because of apartheid, allowing only fights that had already been signed to go ahead. As the WBA junior-lightweight champion, Brian Mitchell was allowed to keep the belt, but he wasn't permitted to defend it on home soil.

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