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Boxing | South Africa

Joseph Lala dies at 64

It has been reported that former Free State welterweight champion Joseph "Dark Destroyer" Lala has passed away. He was 64.

Lala was born on 10 October, 1954 and hailed from Bloemfontein in the Free State, where he made his pro debut on 26 November, 1977, with a four-round points win over Ephraim Mabena.

He won the Free State welterweight title in his fourth fight with a seventh-round technical knockout win over Ben Mutle.

He had three cracks at winning the South African welterweight title, losing all three on closely contested fights, on points over 12 rounds against defending champion Harold Volbrecht.

In their first fight at the Vaal Showgrounds in Vereeniging, Volbrect won on a split decision.

Many were of the opinion that Lala deserved the decision as judges Stan Christodoulou and Chris Myburgh scored it 116-114 and 117-114 for Volbrecht, with the third judge Alfred Buqwana having it 117-113 for Lala.

In the other two fights, Volbrecht was a clear winner on points on both occasions.

Lala had his last fight on 4 March, 1989, a seventh-round stoppage loss against Paul Toweel.

His first inside the distance loss came against Gerhard Botes, a future South African middleweight champion.

His record of 30-11; 12 does not reflect the quality of this talented fighter as he scored victories over excellent fighters such as Mark van Winkel, Peet Bothma, Kostas Petrou and and Herbie Vermeulen.

Most of his losses came against top class fighters such as Fanie van Staden, Morris Mohloai, David Kambule, Charles Oosthuizen, Peter Mgojo and Phumzile Madikane, a future South African junior-welterweight fighter.


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