DURBAN – One of boxing’s biggest personalities, Bert Blewett, has sadly passed away at the age of 84.
The Durban local was regarded as one of the sport’s biggest and brightest pundits, with his almost encyclopaedic knowledge of boxing.
Along the way he received personal letters from Nelson Mandela, was nominated to the World Boxing Hall of Fame, and rubbed shoulders with Angelo Dundee, Muhammad Ali’s trainer.
A trained accountant, who picked up 21 years of experience in the profession, leading him to become director of Intertruck, Blewett put that whole career aside to concentrate fully on boxing journalism and broadcasting in 1978.
However, his interest started at the age of 12 and along the way he would go on to write for Fight Magazine, Out-span, Spotlight, Yours and Personality.
However, he also wrote on cricket, as well as golf, in a number of publications.
Blewett was invited to join the Natal Boxing Board of Control as an official in 1971 where he was immediately licensed as a judge of international fights, and was also granted a licence to referee.
From this post he moved to the Sunday Tribune, writing a weekly column on the sport. He was also a regular contributor to the Saturday Star.
His writing led to him being nominated for the South African Sports Writer of the year in 1979, as well as being nominated to the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1988.
Blewett also founded, and was first editor, of Knock out Magazine in 1974 and launched Ringside Magazine the following year.
From newspapers and magazines, Blewett then moved with the times as he began broadcasting fights, and commentating on them for both the SABC and M-Net.
Blewett never married, but according to his brother Neville, it was because he was too busy looking after others.
“You would think with him being involved in boxing, he would be a tough brute, but he spent his whole life looking after people,” Neville Blewett said.
“He looked after our mother until she died, then he looked after our father before his passing, and then he looked after our sister, who died three years ago. He gave a lot of himself.”