End of the road for Rose of Soweto

One of South Africa’s great champions and much-lover sporting icon, Dingaan Thobela, The Rose of Soweto, has passed away at the age of 57.

Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Zizi Kodwa has paid tribute to the late South African boxing legend Dingaan Thobela, describing him as one of the world’s standout fighters.

“Thobela fought in some of the most memorable bouts, such as the fights against Tony Lopez for the World Boxing Association (WBA) lightweight title and against Glenn Catley to win the World Boxing Council (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,” said the Minister on Tuesday.

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 WBA lightweight, and World WBC super-middleweight titles.

Also known as the Rose of Soweto, Thobela was a recipient of the Andrew Mlangeni Green Jacket Award.

“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.

“As we celebrate 30 years of South African democracy, we mourn the loss of an athlete who did so much to elevate South African sport through his success in boxing. We also celebrate a champion boxer who inspired the nation, future boxers and champions from Soweto, Mdantsane, Thohoyandou, and other parts of the country.

“I express my deepest sympathies to the Thobela family and the South African boxing fraternity. I join millions in mourning the passing of the Rose of Soweto,” said Kodwa.

Source: SAnews.gov.za

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