Other Sport

SA rallies behind Baby Jake

2010-10-29 16:36
Baby Jake Matlala (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Heavyweight prospect Flo Simba will fight at Emperors Palace in January in a tournament in aid of former world champion Jacob (Baby Jake) Matlala.

Matlala is back at home and making a steady recovery after three weeks in hospital with double pneumonia but he was still receiving oxygen this week, Golden Gloves promoter Rodney Berman said on Friday.

Berman staged 12 of the four-times world champion's title fights and described the 48-year-old Matlala as having "the second most recognisable face in South Africa".

"We would have liked to stage this benefit tournament sooner, but the logistics make it impossible. It will go on towards the end of January," he said.

Berman intends to assemble a star-studded bill at the venue near Johannesburg. Many leading fighters are ready to take part.

Unbeaten Simba is considered South Africa's finest heavyweight prospect since Gerrie Coetzee.

Matlala retired from the ring in 2002 after a career of 68 fights that included 54 wins, 12 losses and two draws.

His 28-year boxing career began when he was 12 years old. Some of his best performances came during the twilight of his career.

His last fight, in defence of the WBU junior flyweight title against Colombian Juan Herrara, was a landmark in SA boxing, with both former president Nelson Mandela and Hollywood star Will Smith in attendance.

"It is gratifying to see the country rallying around the little man with the big heart," said Berman, describing the response to Baby Jake's plight as "overwhelming".

Rhema Bible Church, of which Matlala is a member, is helping him pay his medical bills.

"Baby Jake is a member of our church and he has helped us a lot with a number of our charity programmes," Rev Ray McCauley said on Friday.

"We have used his stature as a sports icon to rally support for our Hands of Compassion's [Rhema's social responsibility programme] initiatives," he said.

"We need to plough back in his life and give him all the necessary support."

A lot more money was needed, said Berman, adding that, with the help of the many volunteers "we will do what we can to ease the burden of the little dynamo who made such a major impact in South African sport".

NEXT ON SPORT24X

Mulaudzi a 'true Olympian'

2014-10-25 18:11

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
10 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk

 

Get fit on a budget

It’s time to throw the “I can’t afford to exercise” excuse out the window.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Tips for paddling your first Dusi
Climbing the world’s largest stone arch
Awesome extreme sports people
Watch: 2015 Absa Cape Epic route
 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
Vote

How much of a runner are you?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.