South Africa

Former champ Ernest Moledi succumbs to Covid-19

Covid-19 has claimed the life of former Transvaal junior welterweight boxing champion,  Ernest ‘’The Duke” Moledi, who died on Wednesday. 

Moledi, who was born 62 years ago in Meadowlands, Soweto, struggled to breathe before he was rushed to a local hospital,accordingtothefamily.

“He struggled to breathe on Monday and was rushed to Tshepo Themba Hospital (in Dobsonville) and unfortunately he passed away today," Moledi's sister Pauline said. 

“My brother had a good heart and he did a lot of good things to people and for people. You can write a book about him; we are mourning.”

Moledi feared no-one in his heyday. His straight-forwardness on matters affecting boxing earned him enemies but this failed to worry him as he believed he was fighting a good fight.

Veteran boxing promoter Obed Molekwa – the deputy chairman of the Gauteng Boxing Promoters Association – said the death of Moledi will affect not only his family but also both the people of Meadowlands and the boxing fraternity at large.

“He was always helpful and he buried people who struggled financially,” said Molekwa of Soweto Boxing Promotions. Just two weeks ago Moledi buried former pro boxer Jacob Mazibuko, and it was Moledi who helped bury former SA non-white lightweight champion Evans Gwiji in 2016.

“A large number of the boxing sector supported him by joining his funeral scheme. We have lost a great man; may his soul rest in eternal peace.”

Moledi was trained by Job Sebalo at Bapedi Hall where Arthur Mayisela, Jerry Mbitse, Bushy Mosoeu and Duke’s brother Morgan also honed their skills.

Moledi fought against a number of notable boxers, including Mzwandile Biyana, Nkosana Mgxaji, Arthur Mayisela and Brett Taylor before retiring in 1984. That was due to suffering a detached retina to his left eye after losing by a stoppage in the 12th round to SA welterweight champion Harold "The Hammer" Volbrecht.

Moledi chalked up 21 wins in 27 fights.

After calling it quits, Moledi trained a few fighters including Matthew Zulu before going into funeral business until his death.

He leaves his wife and one child (the other two passed away in 2018). He will be buried at Nasrec Cemetery on Friday at 10am.

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