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Sugar Ray Leonard won five world titles in five weight classes. Picture: JC OLIVERA/GETTY IMAGES
Sugar Ray Leonard won five world titles in five weight classes. Picture: JC OLIVERA/GETTY IMAGES

The world championship boxing belt given to former president Nelson Mandela by American boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard has been stolen.

Police confirmed that the belt, worth about R50,000, was stolen from the Mandela home, now a museum, in Soweto.

Spokesperson Col Dimakatso Sello said police had opened a theft case on July 2.

The Central Boxing Club in Luxembourg recently quoted from an interview with Leonard recounting his meeting with Madiba, saying: “I was in SA and was invited to dinner at his house. I go to the front door and he answers it. Can you imagine? He answers the door himself.

“Just being invited meant the world to me, and then he answers the door. He hugged me. I got weak in the legs.

“I ended up giving him one of my championship belts.

“When I first met him, he looked at me and said, ‘You have inspired me.’ I said, ‘Sir, contraire, you have inspired me’.” 

TimesLIVE


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