Boxing Snippets

Tearaway Thysse taking aim at history

When Brandon Thysse challenges Junior Makondo for the South African junior-middleweight belt at Emperors Palace in August, he will be entering rarefied air.
No more than a handful of fathers and sons have won SA national titles, but Brandon will be hoping to emulate his late father Andre, one of the finest super-middleweights of recent vintage, having defended his belt four times two decades ago.
The younger Thysse fell short in two previous attempts, which indicates how difficult it is to rule the roost locally.
Although no father and son pair have won belts in the same division, two families have done so in different weight classes.
As far as can be ascertained – and top historian Ron Jackson was consulted – Brian Mitchell was the first to emulate his father when he won the SA junior-lightweight championship against Chris Whiteboy in 1983. He never came close to his father Brian snr’s feat, however – in 1962 he won the SA bantamweight belt in just his third fight!
Brian jnr would, however, have a far more prolific (and successful) career that culminated in him claiming world title glory and being inducted in the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Despite his storied 37-fight career, Tommy Oosthuizen contested just a single SA title bout, a challenge for the cruiserweight title in 2018. But he fell short, ensuring the family has just a single SA champion in Charles snr, who was an accomplished SA middleweight champion.
In 1986, Brett Taylor followed his friend Brian’s achievement by winning the SA junior-welterweight championship against Arthur Mayisela.
Years before, in 1962, his father Bernie captured SA featherweight honours. He made five successful defences before losing the prize in his final fight against Andries Steyn.
It’s thus been almost 40 years since a son managed to mimic his father, an intimidating feat, but more reason for Thysse to bring his A game in August.

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