Little cheer for boxing legend Matlala’s family
BOXING legend Baby Jake Matlala is likely to be spending his Christmas in and out of hospital.
His gospel singer wife, Mapule Matlala, said her husband, who has been in hospital receiving treatment for double pneumonia for several weeks, was recovering well, but there was still a long way to go.
“You can’t really go any- where when you have a patient, so going for holidays is out of the question. We will also be waiting to hear from the doctors,” she said.
During a courtesy visit to Matlala at the Milpark hospital last month, newly appointed Gauteng MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation Lebogang Maile said the department had various activities lined up in a bid to assist the ailing boxing icon.
Preparations are under way for a boxing tournament to be held in Baby Jake’s honour at Emperors Palace on January 27. Organised by Golden Gloves Promoters and Supersport, the tournament titled “The Night of the Little Big Man” is expected to attract many boxing enthusiasts and legends, and will see various memorabilia sold on the day. The Golden Gloves website also reported that former boxing champion Jeff Ellis visited Matlala in hospital recently where he handed him a R20 000 cheque to help him get back on his feet again.
Ellis said during his visit Matlala had indicated his intention to being at the tournament.
“He can’t wait. He knows he will be surrounded by friends and boxers. I’m sure it will help his spirit tremendously,” Ellis said.
BATTLING: Baby Jake Matlala. still fighting pneumonia