Fighting SAFA mourns the death of former boxer Matlala

000_SAPA971116986300The South African Football Association is part of millions of South African citizens mourning the death of former boxing champion Jacob “Baby Jake” Matlala after a long illness.

Matlala passed away at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital in Johannesburg on Saturday morning (7 December 2013).
His death comes just two days after that of former State President of South Africa Dr Nelson Mandela.

“A dark cloud has indeed fallen over our country. We hadn’t recovered from the news of the passing on of Madiba, now we are confronted with more sad news. We have lost two great boxers who were fighters inside and outside the ring working for the development of the human course, taking part in many community building projects,” said SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan upon landing from Brazil.

“Even though he was a boxer, Baby Jake was a football fanatic and he shall be greatly missed. His death is a big loss, we love him and will sorely miss him. So much sorrow has enveloped our country. Our heartfelt condolences go to his family, his fans and the boxing fraternity for the loss of such a gentle giant. He was a great ambassador for our country who never allowed his height to be a disadvantage. He was a fearless fighter whose determination put South Africa on the map. May his soul rest in peace.”

Matlala is a former WBO, WBU and IBA flyweight and light flyweight world champion.

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