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Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

“Box­ing is egal­i­tar­ian,” wrote Man­dela in his best-sell­ing au­to­bi­og­ra­phy, Long Walk to Free­dom. “In the ring, rank, age, colour and wealth are ir­rel­e­vant.”

Man­dela started box­ing as a stu­dent at Fort Hare, and later trained at the Don­ald­son Or­lando Com­mu­nity Cen­tre in Soweto in the 1950s.

A heavy­weight, Man­dela wrote that he en­joyed the sci­ence of the sport more than tak­ing punches. “It was a way of los­ing my­self in some­thing that was not the Strug­gle,” he wrote.

His son Tembi, then in his early teens, was also a keen boxer and en­joyed train­ing with his dad,

“When he saw me loafing he would say: ‘Mr Man­dela, you are wast­ing our time this evening.’”

Madiba wrote that he and the older box­ers en­joyed the jibes im­mensely.

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