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Boxing legend dies

Conan Mahlangu

THE SOUTH African boxing fraternity has lost one of its colourful legends in Anthony “Blue Jaguar” Morodi.

TOUGH: Boxing great Anthony Morodi has died after a long illness. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng. Credit: INLSA

Morodi, 70, who graced the local boxing ring with aplomb and style, died in the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital on Monday after a long illness.

He held the SA junior lightweight and lightweight titles in the ’70’s.

He will be sorely missed for his characteristic style and total commitment to boxing.

Who will forget his trademark “Pedi shuffle” whenever he was introduced to fans before a fight?

Such was his dedication to boxing that even on an off day you could not fault him for his mental and physical readiness for a fight.

His professional record – won 96 (32 knockouts), lost 25, drew 3 – attests to his greatness.

His two epic battles with another legend, Enoch “Schoolboy” Nhlapho, in the ’70’s proved Morodi’s stature. Morodi won both fights at a time when Nhlapho seemed invincible.

Morodi was overjoyed when he had the chance to meet the then world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali in New York and had a photo session with him.

After meeting Ali, Morodi did something which made many people laugh – he photocopied that photograph and distributed it to anyone who cared to listen to him about his meeting with Ali.

Even after quitting active boxing, Morodi continued to attend the famed Dube gym like a boxer preparing for fights. This he did without fail five times a week.

He would arrive on time at the gym, having jogged from his humble Mofolo home – at 1237 Mofolo Central in Soweto – to join amateur and professional boxers at the gym. He shared his skills and knowledge with talented boxers at the gym.

He was humble in and outside the ring even when he was the national champion.

Morodi is survived by his wife, three sons and a daughter.

A memorial service will be held at the Dube Club on Saturday and the procession will leave for the Lenasia Cemetery at 10am.

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