South Africa

Baby Jake's service underway

2013-12-11 10:58
Baby Jake (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - The memorial service for former SA boxing legend 'Baby Jake' Matlala has started at the Nasrec Arena.

GALLERY: Baby Jake in pictures

Matlala passed away on Saturday morning following complications related to pneumonia. He was 51.

Baby Jake began his professional boxing career at the age of 18, and was the shortest world champion, standing at 1.47m tall.

Matlala was a potent symbol of reconciliation in post-Apartheid South Africa, where his fortunes were keenly followed.

Matlala won titles under three different sanctioning bodies, the last of which at the age of 42 was watched ringside by former SA president Nelson Mandela, who died on Thursday aged 95.

Matlala, who retired because he said he had "run out of small people to fight", had suffered from poor health and money problems in recent years. Benefactors raised funds to pay his medical bills and other debts.

Matlala's funeral will take place at the Rhema Bible Church on Friday.

He is survived by his wife and two children.

Zapiro cartoon (via Twitter)

Family, friends and fans of Jacob “Baby Jake” Matlala are invited to share their memories and tributes, and to light a candle for him, on his profile at

Read more on:    baby jake matlala  |  boxing

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy 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
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

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


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

How excited are you about the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

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