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Boxing | History

A to Z of SA heavyweight champs

Who was South Africa’s first heavyweight boxing champion? And do you remember Johnny Ralph, South Africa’s heavyweight hope who had his bubble burst by Freddie Mills when he was bludgeoned to defeat in eight rounds in 1948? Whom did he beat to win the SA heavyweight title?

Read on, here is the complete chronology compiled by Superboxing’s Ron Jackson.

In the early years of South African boxing, championships were in a state of confusion. Titles were claimed and relinquished and residential qualifications played no role as foreign boxers often won "South African" titles and abandoned them on their departure from the country.

Mixed fights between black and white South Africans at all levels of competition were permitted only from October 1976. However, despite this decision by the SA Boxing Board of Control, which had the backing of the minister of sport, Dr Piet Koornhof, there were still black and white champions in addition to the all-SA champion or Supreme champion.

The only exciting thing about the change in regulations was that for the first time in South Africa there would be a true undisputed champion in all divisions. All "Supreme Champions" automatically became national champions with the abolition of race distinction in boxing, in January 1979.

The "white and black " champions who reigned during the transition period are also listed. However, in this chronology all champions who won titles before 1979 irrespective of race or colour are listed strictly in the date order that the title was won or lost.

Heavyweight (More than 190 lb / 86,18 kg)

** denotes black title.

The original weight limit was 158 lb (71,67 kg) up.

July 12, 1884 James Couper W KO 2 Joe Coverwell Kimberley
Aug 12,1885 James Couper W TKO 2 Pat O’Connar Kimberley
  (date not confirmed)
July 31,1886 James Couper W KO 7 Fred Fellows Kimberley
July 26, 1889 James Couper W RTD 26 Wolf Bendoff Jhb
  (Couper never fought again)
Aug 31, 1895 Joe Goddard W KO 7 Owen Sullivan Jhb
Nov 23, 1895 Joe Goddard D 13 Tut Ryan Jhb
  (Fight Stopped by Police)
Nov 7, 1896 Joe Goddard W KO 4 Denver Ed Smith Jhb
Feb 6, 1897 Joe Goddard W KO 2 Mick Dooley Jhb
June 5, 1897 Joe Goddard D 20 Tut Ryan Jhb
June 6, 1903 Mike Williams W KO 3 Jim Speers Jhb
Aug 8, 1903 Mike Williams W RTD 8 Harry Duggan Jhb
Oct 10, 1903 Mike Williams W PTS 20 Arthur Cripps Jhb
Apr 2, 1904 Mike Williams W RTD 8 Tom Ball Jhb
June 4, 1904 Mike Williams W KO 8 Jack Palmer Jhb
May 27, 1905 Tim Murphy W DISQ 4 Mike Williams Jhb
Feb 5, 1906 Mike Williams W KO 6 Tim Murphy Jhb
May 6, 1907 Mike Williams W KO 18 Jack Valentine Cape Town
Jan 1, 1908 Bill Smith W DISQ 6 Mike Williams Durban
May 16, 1908 Mike Williams D 20 Harry Smith, Durban
  (Williams then lived in Australia for 3 years)
July 4, 1908 Jack Lalor W PTS 20 Harry Smith Durban
Feb 1, 1909 Dick Heyn W RSF 1 Maurice Christian Cape Town
Apr 7, 1909 George Anderson W RSF 19 Syd Hughes Potchefstroom
July 4, 1912 Mike Williams W RTD 8 Harry Smith PE
Oct 4, 1912 Jack Lalor W DISQ 9 Mike Williams Bulawayo
Feb 8, 1913 Harry Smith W DISQ 5 Mike Williams Harrismith
Dec 27, 1913 Mike Williams W DISQ 2 Fred Storbeck Jhb
Jan 1, 1914 Jack Lalor W DISQ 2 Fred Storbeck Bulawayo
Mar 7, 1914 Fred Storbeck W RTD 1 Mike Williams Salisbury
Apr 11, 1914 Jack Lalor W PTS 15 Fred Storbeck Jhb
July 19, 1915 Jack Lalor W KO 2 Jim Styles Cape Town
  (Lalor retired in 1917)
May 24, 1917 Fred Storbeck W PTS 20 Johnny Rutherford Jhb
  (for vacant title)
Mar 7, 1918 Jack Lalor W KO 7 P.O.Prizeman Cape Town
  (Lalor did not claim the title and Storbeck was recognised as champion)
Apr 6, 1918 Nick van den Bergh W DISQ Fred Storbeck Jhb
Dec 30, 1918 Jack Lalor W PTS Nick van den Bergh Jhb
  (Lalor was recognised as champion until 1920 when he retired once again)
July 16, 1920 George Pascall W RSF 5 Mike Williams Durban
Dec 4, 1920 Nick van den Bergh W KO6 Seaman Pascall Jhb
June 3, 1922 Nick van den Bergh W PTS 20 Bob Storbeck Jhb
Aug 12, 1922 Johnny Squires W RTD 11 Nick van den Bergh Durban
Dec 30, 1922 Johnny Squires W KO2 Joe De Witt Jhb
Apr 21, 1923 Johnny Squires W PTS 20 Tom Holdstock Durban
Aug 9, 1924 Johnny Squires W KO4 Fred Storbeck Jhb
May 17, 1927 Jimmy Dixon W KO 4 Young Farratt Durban **
  Billed as South African heavyweight title.
May 10, 1930 Don McCorkindale W RTD 12 Johnny Squires Jhb
  (In June 1931 McCorkindale left for England and in September 1933 was stripped of the title by the Boxing Board)
June 25, 1934 Ben Foord W KO4 Willie Storm Cape Town
  (vacant title),(Foord left for the United Kingdom in 1934 and never defended the title which was declared vacant)
July 31, 1937 Robey Leibrandt W KO4 Jim Pentz Jhb
  (vacant title),(Leibrandt left for overseas at the end of 1937 and the title was subsequently declared vacant)
Dec 3, 1938 Tommy Bensch W PTS 12 Dave Carstens Jhb
  (vacant title)
Jan 20, 1940 Tommy Bensch W PTS 12 Ben Foord Jhb
Nov 3, 1945 Nick Wolmarans W PTS 12 Tommy Bensch Jhb
Mar 9, 1946 Nick Wolmarans W PTS 12 Tommy Bensch Jhb
Feb 17, 1947 Johnny Ralph W KO6 Nick Wolmarans Jhb
Aug 21, 1947 Johnny Ralph W KO3 Jack Kukard Jhb
  (Subsequently injured in a car accident in 1949 and retired)
Nov 22, 1950 Piet Strydom W PTS 12 George Hunter Pretoria
  (vacant title)
Jun 16, 1951 Piet Strydom W RSF3 George Bissett Jhb
  (Strydom relinquished the title)
Dec 17, 1952 Louw Strydom W KO3 George Bissett Cape Town
Jan 31, 1953 Johnny Arthur W RTD9 Louw Strydom Jhb
Apr 12, 1953 Johnny Arthur W RTD 11 Louw Strydom Kroonstad
Apr 28, 1953 King Kong W KO5 Foxy Mntambo Cape Town **
  (first recorded fight for Black title)
Jun 15, 1953 Johnny Arthur W KO1 Jack Kukard Cape Town
Jul 24, 1953 Johnny Arthur W RTD6 Louw Strydom Jhb
May 15, 1954 Johnny Arthur W KO6 Mike Oberholzer Kroonstad
Jan 28, 1955 Willie Khongwane W KO3 Meshack Sithole Jhb **
  (Vacant Black Title)
Oct 12, 1955 Willie Khongwane W PTS 12 Ezrom Ngcobo Cape Town **
Jun 1, 1956 Willie Khongwane W PTS 12 Ezrom Ngcobo Jhb **
Nov 10, 1956 Johnny Arthur W RSF3 Andries Nieman Jhb
Sept 7, 1957 Willie Khongwane W PTS 12 Ezrom Ngcobo Jhb **
Sept 28, 1957 Gawie De Klerk W RSF4 Eddie Theron Pretoria
  (vacant title)
Aug 30, 1958 Gawie De Klerk W KO1 Eddie Theron Salisbury
Apr 25, 1959 Gawie De Klerk W KO1 Jan Scheepers Groblersdal
Dec 5, 1959 Gawie De Klerk W RSF 12 Dawid Hamman Jhb
Apr 13, 1960 Gawie De Klerk W PTS 12 Piet Strydom Pretoria
May 20, 1961 Gawie De Klerk W KO11 Jan Scheepers Jhb
Aug 5, 1961 Gawie De Klerk W KO7 Alf McKnight Jhb
Sept 9, 1961 Gawie De Klerk W RSF4 Stan Lotriet, Caledon
  (De Klerk retired early in 1962 and the title was declared vacant)
Mar 17, 1962 Daan Bekker W KO6 Jan Scheepers Jhb
  (vacant title)
June 9, 1962 Daan Bekker W PTS 12 Stoffel Willemse Jhb
Jan 26, 1963 Stoffel Willemse W KO7 Daan Bekker Jhb
July 6, 1963 Stoffel Willemse W RTD1 Doug Nicholas Durban
Feb 29, 1964 Billy Lotter W PTS 12 Stoffel Willemse Jhb
June 20, 1964 Ezrom Ngcobo W PTS 12 Samson Zwane Germiston **
  (Black Vacant Title)
Aug 12, 1964 Ezrom Ngcobo W PTS 12 Remmington Dyanti Cape Town **
Nov, 1964 Ezrom Ngcobo W PTS 12 Samson Zwane Jhb **
Mar 8, 1965 Billy Lotter W PTS 12 Dewald De Waal Jhb
May 2, 1966 Gerry De Bruyn W KO7 Billy Lotter Jhb
May 30, 1966 Gerry De Bruyn W PTS 12 Dewald De Waal Jhb
Dec 10, 1966 Gerry De Bruyn W KO8 Gert Van Heerden Jhb
Feb 1, 1967 Gerry De Bruyn W KO7 Tommy Miller Cape Town
July 29, 1967 Gerry De Bruyn W KO7 Tommy Miller Jhb
Oct 7, 1967 Gerry De Bruyn W PTS 12 Dewald De Waal Jhb
Dec 15, 1967 Remmington Dyanti W PTS 12 Ezrom Ngcobo PE
Oct 9, 1968 Ezrom Ngcobo W KO7 Remmington Dyanti Cape Town **
June 6, 1969 Japie Pretorius W RTD4 Gerry De Bruyn Jhb
Dec 20, 1969 Remmington Dyanti W TKO8 Smith Tshabalala, Jhb **
  (Black Vacant Title)
Apr 11, 1970 Sarel Aucamp W PTS 12 Japie Pretorius Jhb
Dec 5, 1970 Sarel Aucamp W RSF8 Japie Pretorius Jhb
June 19, 1971 Remmington Dyanti W KO12 Fraser Memela Durban **
Dec 4, 1971 Remmington Dyanti W TKO 4 Simon Mathonsi, East London
Apr 8, 1972 Fraser Memela W TKO5 Remmington Dyanti Pretoria
Oct 14, 1972 Chris Roos W PTS 12 Sarel Aucamp Jhb
Mar 17, 1973 Jimmy Richards W PTS 12 Chris Roos Jhb
July 1973 Fraser Memela W KO9 John Nyalunga Durban **
Nov 2, 1973 Jimmy Richards W PTS 12 Johnny Britz PE
Feb 9, 1974 Jimmy Richards W DISQ 4 Dawie Du Preez Pretoria
Apr 20, 1974 Jimmy Richards W RSF 12 Mike Schutte Pretoria
Dec 12, 1974 James Mathatho W PTS 12 Fraser Memela Ladysmith
Feb 8, 1975 Jimmy Richards W PTS 12 Mike Schutte Pretoria
Sept 13, 1975 Mike Schutte W PTS 12 Jimmy Richards Jhb
Feb 14, 1976 James Mathatho W TKO6 Fraser Memela Jhb **
Aug 16, 1976 Gerrie Coetzee W DISQ 6 Mike Schutte Durban
Nov 27, 1976 Gerrie Coetzee W KO7 James Mathatho Jhb
  (Supreme Title)
Mar 19, 1977 Gerrie Coetzee W KO3 Pierre Fourie Jhb
Apr 16, 1977 Gerrie Coetzee W PTS 12 Mike Schutte Jhb
  (Coetzee reliquished the title in September 1983)
Aug 13, 1977 Kallie Knoetze W KO 2 Mike Schutte Jhb
Dec 19, 1983 Robbie Williams W TKO5 Ron Ellis Durban
  (vacant title), (Williams retired March 1984)
Sept 22, 1984 Pierre Coetzer W KO3 Bennie Knoetz Jhb
  (vacant title), (Coetzer relinquished title on 15 November 1990)
July 27, 1991 Corrie Sanders   Johnny Du Plooy Sun City
  (vacant title), (Sanders relinquished the title February 1999)
Aug 8, 1999 Jacob Mofokeng W TKO 11 Isaac Mahlang Jhb
  (vacant title), (stripped of title for alledged use of drug substance)
Dec 15, 2000 Anton Nel W KO 1 Sam Ubokane Jhb
  (vacant title)
Sep 1, 2000 Jacob Mofokeng W KO 3 Anton Nel Brakpan
  Mofokeng relinquished title due to health reasons.
Aug 19, 2001 Anton Nel W TKO 1 Jokkie Oberholzer Cape Town
  (vacant title)
Oct 24, 2001 Anton Nel W TKO 3 Sam Umbokane Hammanskraal
May 11, 2002 Anton Nel W KO 10 Osborne Machimane East London
Jul 26, 2003 Anton Nel W TKO 6 Wiseman Dlomo Giyani
Oct 4, 2004 Anton Nel W PTS 12 Danie Venter Brakpan
Apr 16, 2005 Osborne Machimana W KO 5 Anton Nel Brakpan
Oct 20, 2006 Osborne Machimana W TKO 7 Wiseman Dlomo Durban
Aug 7, 2007 Osborne Machimana W TKO 5 Jake Els Kempton Park
Nov 12, 2007 Osborne Machimana W KO 7 Pieter Cronje Kempton Park
Feb 2, 2008 Osborne Machimana W KO 1 Corrie Sanders Kempton Park
May 31, 2008 Osborne Machimana W TKO 5 Miyan Solomans Kempton Park
November 22, 2008 Osborne Machimana W PTS 12 Miyan Solomons Mdantsane
March 7, 2010 Osborne Machimana W TKO 8 Bull Muravha Johannesburg
Jan 2011 Osborne Machimana relinquished title
April 29, 2011 Wiseman Dlomo KO 5 Anton Nel Durban
  (for vacant title)
Nov 25, 2011 Wiseman Dlomo W TKO 5 Hein van Bosch Durban
Jun 19, 2013 Wiseman Dlomo stripped of title for not renewing licence
October 5, 2013 Anton Nel W TKO 8 Hein van Bosch Bloemfontein
  (for vacant title)
Dec 13, 2013 Anton Nel W TKO 6 Sibusiso Sibiya Nigel
Aug 15, 2015 Anton Nel W TKO 1 Donovan Luff Boksburg


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