Blasts from the past: Jonty’s run-out rocks world cricket
Today in SA sports history: March 8
1980 — Jimmy Abbott takes on Kallie Knoetze at the Ellis Park tennis stadium in one of the most highly anticipated local heavyweight match-ups, but blows him out in the first round. Knoetze would retire the following year.
1992 — Diving at full stretch with ball in hand, Jonty Rhodes knocks the bails off to run out Pakistan’s slow-moving batsman Inzamam-ul-Haq at the World Cup in Brisbane. Rhodes could have thrown at the wicket, but instead he took the safe route, outsprinting Inzamam. That run-out, captured by photographers at the ground, became iconic in world cricket and embodied Rhodes’s livewire approach to the game, as a fielder and even as a batsman prepared to dart for every run. It also helped SA to win that match by 20 runs. Pakistan went on to win that World Cup.
1997 — SA champion Jaji Sibali is stopped in the sixth round by IBF junior-bantamweight champion Danny Romero in the American’s home town of Albuquerque. It was Sibali’s second failed world title attempt.
2003 — Corrie Sanders stuns the world as he blows away WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in the second round in Hanover, Germany. Klitschko was considered the heir apparent to Lennox Lewis at the time, but he had no answer to the South African’s speed and power, getting knocked down twice in the opening round and twice in the second. The partisan crowd of about 11,000 went so quiet when Klitschko first hit the canvas that all one could hear were small pockets of SA fans screaming their support. Straight after the bout Sanders got into an altercation with Klitschko’s older brother Vitali in the ring, and slapped him in the face while threatening to knock him out too. Sanders’s promoter at the time, Rodney Berman, believed Klitschko’s handlers had made a mistake signing Sanders as challenger, thinking they were actually offering the shot to the less-dangerous US heavyweight Corey Sanders. Sanders never defended the WBO belt, instead fighting Vitali for the vacant WBC crown that Lewis had vacated. Vitali won that fight.
2008 — Khotso Mokoena secures his first major medal when he wins long-jump gold at the world indoor championships in Valencia. Mokoena secured the victory on his penultimate effort, leaping to a season’s best 8.08m to push Briton Chris Tomlinson, who went 8.06m in the opening round, into second place.
2008 — Thomas Mashaba loses his marginal IBO featherweight title to Cristobal Cruz of Mexico in Mashantucket, Connecticut, on a majority decision. He lost by two points on two cards, with the third judge scoring it even. That was the last time Mashaba fought, quitting the sport for health reasons.
2015 — Zolani Tete stops Paul Butler of England in Liverpool to retain his IBF junior-bantamweight crown.
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