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Boxing | History

Mister courageous



Possibly one of the most courageous fighters to grace the South African ring was former South African lightweight champion Danny Myburgh.

Born Daniel Johannes Myburgh in Vryheid, KwaZulu Natal on August 9, 1965 he was a good sportsman and took part in athletics, wrestling, rugby and cross country running.

He started boxing at the age of 15 and developed into an outstanding amateur winning the amateur South African junior-welterweight title in 1984, 1985 and 1986.

He was awarded his Springbok colours in 1986 and finished with a reported amateur record of 96 wins and 13 losses.

Danny made his professional debut as a welterweight on July 27, 1987 when he fought to a four round draw against Desmond Mahlawele.

He won seven and drew one of his next eight fights before scoring a unanimous ten round points victory over the experienced Patrick Mpamba to claim the Transvaal welterweight title.

However, two months later he lost the title to Mbulelo Ndlazi when he was stopped in the seventh round.

He came back from this defeat to stop Alson Nkosi on a fifth round technical knockout but in his next fight he was knocked out in the fourth round by future South African welterweight and junior-middleweight champion David Potsane.

BOUNCING BACK

Bouncing back from this setback he won two and drew one of his next three fights before moving down to junior-welterweight.

He stopped Coleman Molefe in the first round at the Nasrec Indoor Arena in Johannesburg on October 11, 1990 to win the vacant Transvaal title.

Things were looking good as he won his next three fights in style before he was beaten on an eighth round technical knockout by Grant Messias at the Sun City Superbowl on July 27, 1991 to lose his Transvaal junior-welterweight title.

Realising that the he was not big enough for the junior-welterweight and welterweight divisions, under the guidance of trainer Willie Lock he restricted his sugar intake and trained down to lightweight. He had previously been trained by Brett Taylor and Hardy Mileham, both former South African professional champions.

After the setback against Messias he beat Walter Mpungose and fought to a draw and lost against Jerry Ngobeni before challenging Aladin Stevens for the South African lightweight title on June 9, 1992 at the Carousel Casino in Hammanskraal.

CONTROVERSIAL DECISION

In one of the most controversial decisions in South African boxing history Myburgh won the title on a split decision.

Judges Abri Schutte and Wally Snowball scored it 116-111 and 115-114 for Myburgh and Alfred Buqwana had it 116-114 for Stevens.

Writing in the August 1992 issue of the Boxing World magazine, Gavin Evans had Stevens a clear three point winner and he stated that there was virtual unanimity among the boxing writers present, about the result: Boxing World, Die Transvaler, The Citizen, SAPA, M-Net, Sunday Times, Sowetan and Weekly Mail to name a few.

Ignoring all the controversy around his win over Stevens, Danny stopped Juma Kutondo in seven before travelling to England to meet the unbeaten Michael Ayers for the WBC International lightweight title on February 20, 1993 at the Earls Court Exhibition Hall in Kensington. Myburgh lost on a fifth round stoppage due to a badly cut eye.

Returning to South Africa he made successful defences of the South African lightweight title against Edward Mogemi (pts 12), Mbeko Dayile (tko 11) and Bongani Shezi (tko 11) in gruelling affairs.

On August 20, 1994 at the Carousel Casino in Hammanskraal on the same night that one of South Africa’s greatest fighters Vuyani Bungu won the IBF junior-featherweight title with a comprehensive points decision over Kennedy McKinney, Danny was completely outclassed by future IBF lightweight champion Phillip Holiday when he was knocked out in the fifth round in a non-title fight.

STOPPED IN THE SEVENTH

In a return match with Mbeko Dayile on April 9, 1995 at the Iscor Sports Recreation club in Vanderbijlpark Danny was stopped in a the seventh round to lose his South Africa lightweight title.

Dayile completely dominated the fight from the opening bell and Myburgh as a fighter who was too tough and courageous for his own good failed to come out for the seventh round when his corner decided that the cut he received from an accidental clash of heads in the previous round was too bad for him continue.

This was end of a career of a fighter who did not know the word quit as he finished with a record of 21-7-4; 10.



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