Blast from the past: Matlala’s ‘pro’ debut ends with baby being ...

Sport

Blast from the past: Matlala’s ‘pro’ debut ends with baby being thrown out

Today in SA sports history: February 2

Sports reporter

Today in SA sports history: February 2

1976 — Golfer Dale Hayes wins the South African Open after an 18-hole play-off at Houghton in Johannesburg, beating John Fourie by three strokes.

1980 — World champion Baby Jake Matlala makes his professional debut against Fraser Plaatjies in New Brighton, Port Elizabeth, winning on points over four rounds. But it wasn’t without controversy. Soweto-based Matlala hadn’t been awarded a professional licence at that stage, but he had assumed he would escape the gaze of the Johannesburg-based national commission. However, his indiscretion was noticed and he was suspended for several months. Matlala, who fought again only in June the next year, went on to win four world titles at junior-flyweight and flyweight. He died in 2013 at the age of 51...

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