Night gala nets Baby Jake cool R800K

2011-02-01 09:11

There was euphoria all round when more than R800 000 was raised for Jacob “Baby Jake” ­Matlala at Emperors Palace on Thursday night.

It was one of the most extraordinary and ostentatious occasions in the country’s boxing history.

The ceremony was organised to raise funds for Matlala, whose ­financial problems mean he cannot pay his astronomical medical bills.

The event, dubbed Night of the Big Little Men, was masterminded by philanthropic promoters Rodney Berman and Jeff Ellis, among others.

The audience roared with ­delight when the lean-as-a-junior flyweight Matlala was paraded like a king on a chair carried by warrior-like men.

The immaculately dressed, four-time world champion ­acknowledged the support he ­received inside the ring.

Soccer personalities swarmed Emperors Palace – you would have thought Cristiano Ronaldo was hosting a party there.

They included Lucas Radebe, Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba, ­Linda Buthelezi, Pitso Mosimane, ­Irvin Khoza, Trott Moloto and Vusi Lamola.

These luminaries were hosted at a table bought by Pastor Ray MacCauley.

Various items of memorabilia were ­auctioned off. Khoza was the biggest bidder of the night, ­paying R180 000 for a football shirt signed by former president Nelson ­Mandela.

The Orlando Pirates’ boss also paid R60 000 for a Manchester United jersey signed by the club’s players who were in the team that won the Champions League in 2008.

The Old Buck belt, presented to Matlala when he won the World Boxing Organisation flyweight title was snatched for R100 000.

The International Boxing Association belt, seized by Matlala when he beat Michael Carbajal, went for R90 000. Lucas Radebe donated R20 000 and Pitso Mosimane R10 000.

Minister of Sport and Recreation Fikile Mbalula addressed the crowd: “Baby Jake has touched our lives in all aspects,” he said

“Even the great Nelson Mandela recognised Baby Jake, the man whose life we are here to ­celebrate.”

In the ring, unheralded Gideon Buthelezi caused an upset when he seized the International Boxing Organisation junior flyweight title on a split decision from Hekkie Budler.

The main supporting bout saw heavyweight sensation Flo Simba stopping Sting Gonorenda in round five.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.