Boxing Snippets

Braithwaite reminder of the night Thysse schooled the Commonwealth champion

Twenty-one years after promoting South Africa’s first (and only) Commonwealth championship bout on SA soil since readmission in 1994, Golden Gloves will host another Commonwealth champion when Ricardo Malajika fights Marcel Braithwaite of the UK.
Although the Commonwealth belt will not be on the line – Malajika’s IBO title is the big prize – it will rekindle memories of the night the late Andre Thysse outboxed David Starie for Commonwealth super-middleweight honours at Carnival City.
Despite the Commonwealth title’s long history, which dates to 1908 (under the original Empire title), South African participation has been modest.
In 1911, heavyweight Fred Storbeck was knocked out by Bombardier Billy Wells in England, but in 1936 Laurie Stevens became the inaugural SA holder of a Commonwealth belt when he beat the great Jack “Kid” Berg at junior-lightweight.
In 12 SA-contested Commonwealth bouts in all, success has been fleeting: only three South Africans (Thysse, Stevens and Jake Tuli) have been successful.
Braithwaite thus represents a significant slice of history, having won the Commonwealth Boxing Council’s super-flyweight title against Ijaz Ahmed last year, a not insignificant achievement given that 56 countries constitute the Commonwealth of Nations.

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