Blast from the past: Tshabalala leapfrogs the field to win French Open
1953 — Olympic bronze medallist Willie Toweel makes his debut as a professional boxer, beating Jackie O’Connor on points over four rounds at the Wembley Stadium in Johannesburg. Toweel, brother of world champion Vic, would go on to win SA titles in four classes from bantamweight to welterweight.
1976 — Vincent Tshabalala, a former motor mechanic based in Soweto wins his first international golf tournament, taking the French Open title by two strokes. He fired a final-round 67 to finish on 16-under-par 272. He won R5,712 as well as a goat from the West Rand Bantu Golf Union. Spain’s Salvador Balbuena was second, with Simon Hobday, Sam Torrance and Neil Coles four shots behind Tshabalala.
1977 — Peter “Terror” Mathebula meets Joe Ngidi junior for the fourth and final time, putting his black South African flyweight title on the line. Mathebula, leading Ngidi 2-1, wins when the challenger quits in the seventh round of their contest at the West Ridge Tennis Stadium in Durban. Mathebula would become the first black South African to win a world title three years later. ..
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