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THE world of boxing is in mourning after the death of Moss Marupe Tau.
Affectionately known as “The Lord Mayor”, Tau died in Thaba Nchu on June 7 after a long illness.
Born on November 30, 1925, Tau fell ill two years ago and relocated to his birthplace, where he spent the last days of his life.
Tau was a match maker of note and was involved in boxing during the height of apartheid when the sport was still under the auspices of the old SA Boxing Board.
With legends Theo Mthembu and Joe Gumede, he played a role in promoting black boxers such as Jacob “Baby Jake” Matlala, Dingaan “The Rose of Soweto” Thobela and the late Arthur “Fighting Prince” Mayisela.
Tau maintained a relationship with promoter Mike Seagal and referee Stanley Christodolou for years.
Even when the interest seemed to be waning, The Lord Mayor maintained a fervent belief that boxing could be revived. He worked tirelessly to this end, even in his old age.
Many described him as a colourful character, a natty dresser and the consummate gentleman.
Tau was a product of the renowned Moroka Missionary Institute.
He arrived in Joburg in 1946 and worked as a salesman for various companies. But the boxing bug bit him and it was here that he found his passion – one he pursued until his dying days.
It was befitting that in 2002, the Gauteng Boxing Commission honoured The Lord Mayor for his immense contribution to the development of the sport.
He was named the “Match Maker of the Year” and his colleagues in the boxing fraternity had great admiration for his instinct for the sport.
Tau is survived by his sister, children and grandchildren.
He will be laid to rest at his place of birth, Thaba Nchu.