SA boxers have failed to win top WBA, WBC titles for more than
For many years South African boxers have not succeeded in lifting credible World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Association (WBA) titles. The WBC and WBA are widely recognised as the most prestigious world sanctioning bodies for the popular sport.
Securing championship belts in the WBC and WBA is a big deal globally, and doing so can add a great degree of credibility to a boxer’s career – not to mention increasing his earning potential.
Then there’s the International Boxing Federation (IBF), where Mzansi champions have managed to feature successfully for many years.
Although being an IBF titleholder is noteworthy, it is not as prized as the WBC and WBA crowns.
The International Boxing Organisation (IBO), World Boxing Federation (WBF) and World Boxing Organisation (WBO) titles are, in turn, considered inferior to WBC, WBA and IBF titles.
South Africa has seven world champions – five of them IBO titleholders and two with WBF belts
Unfortunately, there has been a marked absence of local champions in the WBC for more than a decade.
Thulani “Sugar Boy” Malinga became the first local fighter to win the belt in 1996 when he beat Englishman Nigel “Dark Destroyer” Benn by split decision in their super middleweight clash in Newcastle, England.
Dingaan “The Rose” Thobela was Mzansi’s last boxer to hold his own in the WBC. This was in 2000 when he knocked out Englishman Glenn Catley in the 12th round at Carnival City in Brakpan, Ekurhuleni.
But South Africa has not produced a WBC champion in the past 15 years.
South Africans have not been extremely active in the WBA either.
Hekkie Budler is the sole titleholder. He captured the then vacant WBA minimumweight crown in March last year.
This was after he pole-axed Colombian Karluis Diaz in the first round at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park. Budler also holds the IBO crown. In 1986, Brian “Mean Machine” Mitchell captured the WBA junior lightweight title with a 10th-round knockout win over Panamanian Alfredo Layne.
Mitchell, possibly the best South African boxer of all time, successfully de-
Compiled by Pule Mokhine
Mbulelo Botile won the IBF featherweight crown and took the IBF featherweight belt in 20000 Hekkie Budler elevated to the WBA minimumweight title holder