Thobela captured the hearts and soul of the nation: Kodwa

Former three-time world boxing champion, Dingaan Thobela.
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Sport, Arts and Culture Minister, Zizi Kodwa says the former three-time world boxing champion, Dingaan Thobela  captured the hearts and soul of the nation.

Thobela, affectionally known as ‘The Rose of Soweto’  was found dead in his Mayfair apartment by members of his family and police after they struggled to get in touch with him.

The 57-years-old had been battling illness.

In a professional career which spanned from 1986 until 2006,  Thobela was a multiple world boxing champion, having won the World Boxing Organization (WBO) and World Boxing Association (WBA) lightweight, and World Boxing Council (WBC) super-middleweight titles.

In a statement, Kodwa says, “Dingaan ‘The Rose of Soweto’ Thobela was a champion fighter who captured the hearts and soul of the nation. The Rose of Soweto progressed from a prolific amateur boxer to become a three-time world champion as a professional.”

“Thobela fought in some of the most memorable bouts, such as the fights against Tony Lopez for the WBA lightweight title and against Glenn Catley to win the WBC super-middleweight title. Through his success and popularity, Thobela was one of the world’s standout fighters in a golden period of South African boxing,” he adds.

‘Thobela was a very good fighter’

Former World Boxing Champion, Jan Bergman says Thobela was a very good fighter.

Bergman says, “Dingaan did very well in his boxing career, he became the IBO lightweight champion, IBA lightweight champion and in the next five or eight years he came back and boxed with the UK guy in the WBC title in middle weight,  I was very impressed with him.”

PODCAST: Full interview with Bergman:

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