Tributes to Jimmy Abbott: 'Boxing legend and one of biggest Lions fans ever'

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Jimmy Abbott (Gallo)
Jimmy Abbott (Gallo)

The Lions have paid tribute to Jimmy Abbott after the South African boxing legend and Ellis Park regular died on Sunday.

The former national heavyweight champion died at his home in Heidelberg on Sunday night after succumbing to heart failure at the age of 61.

One of the most well-known figures in South African boxing history, news of Abbott's death immediately made waves on social media with members of the sporting community paying their respects. 

Throughout his life, Abbott was known to be a diehard Lions supporter and the union on Sunday confirmed as much, referring to him as one of their biggest fans. 

"It's with sadness that the Lions Rugby Company learnt of the passing of Jimmy Abbott, boxing legend and one of the biggest Lions fans ever," a Tweet from the union read. 

"Jimmy was a regular at Emirates Airline Park and we will miss him dearly."

Former Lions and Springbok lock Kobus Wiese also added his voice to the tributes. 

"Everything about Jimmy was big! His stature, his love for the Lions, his devotion to the Lord," he wrote. 

One of Abbott's most famous fights took place at the Ells Park tennis stadium in 1980 when he beat Kallie Knoetze.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Would you be keen to see the Springboks join the Six Nations?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes! The Northern Hemisphere is the future.
53% - 6009 votes
No! The Rugby Championship is still the pinnacle.
47% - 5273 votes
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.