Blasts from the past: Heads up for Danie Gerber’s hat trick
Today in SA sports history: March 27
1982 — Left wing Carel du Plessis scores a try on his international debut as the Springboks run in eight tries to trounce a South American team 50-18 at Loftus Versfeld in the first Test of a two-match series. Du Plessis’s brother Willie, a centre, also scored a try, while Danie Gerber, the other centre, went over for three and right wing Ray Mordt two. The visitors responded with just one try through winger Alejandro Puccio, with flyhalf and captain, the legendary Hugo Porta, adding four penalties and a conversion. A week later the visitors would stun the South Africans in the second Test.
1987 — Brian Mitchell defends his WBA junior-lightweight title for the first time with a 15-round draw against Joe Rivera of Puerto Rico in San Juan. Mitchell’s next draw would be in his 12th defence in 1991.
1998 — Sugarboy Malinga’s second reign as WBC super-middleweight champion ends as he is outpointed by Richie Woodhall in Telford, England. Malinga had reclaimed the belt a few months earlier from Robin Reid, having lost it in 1996. Already in his 40s, Malinga would become a champion one more time, briefly holding the marginal WBF title.
2002 — A nine-man Bafana Bafana are smashed 1-4 by Georgia in a friendly in Tbilisi. They played with 10 men for more than an hour after Lesley Manyathela was sent off, and for about 30 minutes after Thabang Molefe was red-carded. Delron Buckley scored Bafana’s only goal.
2005 — Mzukisi Sikali, winner of three marginal world titles at different weights, loses in his only crack at a bona fide world crown when he quits in the eighth round against Australia’s IBF flyweight champion Vic Darchinyan in Sydney. Sikali, whose discipline outside the ring had deteriorated over the years, had had insufficient time to prepare for the fight and was a shadow of himself, but even so, he did enough to have Darchinyan tell his corner after the fifth round that he wanted to quit. But by that stage Sikali ran out of steam. The 33-year-old Sikali, who had beaten a couple of fighters who had either gone on to hold, or previously held, genuine world titles, never fought again, being murdered for his cellphone on the streets of KwaNobuhle six months later.
2010 — Ali Funeka and Joan Guzman of the Dominican Republic meet again after their drawn world title clash the previous year, fighting for the IBF lightweight belt in Las Vegas. But this time the East London fighter loses on points after being dropped in the sixth round. Two of the three judges had Funeka losing by just one point.
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