Support pours in for Baby Jake

2011-01-18 11:33

Johannesburg - Top boxing promoter Rodney Berman has a lump in his throat. It has been caused by the awesome response from fellow South Africans who want to help raise funds for Jacob "Baby Jake" Matlala, according to a Sowetan report.

They have purchased 98 of the 100 tables of 10 in order to be part of a box-and-dine tribute to Matlala that will take place at Emperors Palace on January 27.

Various sporting memorabilia, including Matlala's Old Buck and IBA belts, will be auctioned.

The proceedings will go to Matlala, who has hit rock bottom financially. He is also very sick and unable to pay his reportedly sky-high medical bills.

This event, in the true spirit of ubuntu, will be presented jointly by Berman, Jeff Ellis, SuperSport and Emperors Palace.

"The response is unbelievable," Berman said. "This goes to show the love that fellow South Africans have for the national hero."

The boxing tournament has been dubbed "Night of The Little Big Man" - an appropriate description of the pint-sized Sowetan who defied all odds by winning the SA and four world belts in two weight divisions.


  • Bob - 2011-01-18 11:43

    Very very sad story, such a wonderful man, which SOBS have managed to fleece him, he doesn't seem the type of guy that would spend it on wine women and song and waste the rest of it, I really wish him a speedy recovery in both health and to a lesser extent wealth.

  • sean - 2011-01-18 11:44

    Had the pleasure of meeting him, a more down to earth person you will not find, i wish him all the best.

  • Flee - 2011-01-18 11:46

    I feel for Baby Jake, he has been a sporting role model to many a young South African. But what illness has he got, everyone carries on about how sick he is and how expensive his bills are. Tell us what is wrong and there might be other avenues in which we can help instead of financially...

      matthew.healing - 2011-01-18 18:30

      double pneumonia

  • njabulo.nxele - 2011-01-18 12:13

    Typical SA athlete, doesn't know how to mange his wealth. Then they expect handouts from us

      pointblankza - 2011-01-18 12:45

      Like you contributing anything to anyone anyway.

      Theuns - 2011-01-19 08:08

      Njabulo.nxele, go play in the traffic, so what. He came from a disadvantaged background and made it in boxing with extremely hard work. He entertained people like you and filled the pockets of the boxing promotors. A little man with the heart of an lion, yet extremely humble.........South Africa needed a hero and he filled that role, he now needs South Africa and we will take care of him!

  • AJ - 2011-01-18 12:17

    The illness is obviously sad and hope he recovers but may I ask, where the hell has all his cash gone then? He must have raked it in at one stage, and for some time too. Financial planning? Poor promoters? When you boxing at the level he was for that amount of time........

  • Calmone - 2011-01-18 12:20

    Hey BJ, hope that you get well soon.I ahd the pleasure of meetin you personally a few years back when Ali was here for a benefit.Is there a trust fund that we can send some support to?

  • garriga - 2011-01-18 13:00

    I met him when he came to Bloemfontein for a function that honoured some of the Free State sport stars that represented South Africa accross the globe. A very humble man, it's sad to see the story about him being rock-bottom. A speedy recovery, Jake!

  • Andy49 - 2011-01-18 13:32

    What is with boxers who can't seem to invest their extremely large fight purses wisely, think Mike Tyson having to have another fight because he's broke yet earned hundreds of millions for one fight. Didn't Jake have his own business not so long ago, what happened to that?

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