Blast from the past: Unlicensed to thrill – Baby Jake makes pro debut
Today in SA sports history: February 2
1976 — Golfer Dale Hayes wins the SA Open after an obligatory 18-hole play-off at Houghton, 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 following 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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