Former International Boxing Federation Junior Featherweight champion, Welcome Ncita, from Mdantsane in the Eastern Cape, has described the late Muhammad Ali as a classy fighter whose style confused many opponents.
Ali, will be fondly remembered as the boxing icon that put Africa on the map by participating in the world famous 1974 Rumble in the Jungle fight with George Foreman.
The boxer, known as the Greatest, passed away on Friday night at a hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, where he had spent the past few days being treated for respiratory complications.
Ncita says Ali inspired many boxers to change their style and rhythm of boxing.
I would like to say we will remember Muhammad Ali for raising the flag of our continent
Ncita, who was the first South African to win an International Boxing Federation title, says he became a world champion through watching Ali’s games and imitated his moves.
“He played a very big role in terms of inspiring a lot of boxers not only just myself with his style of float like butterfly sting like a bee and the other style of rope a dope style. Boxers imitated him and still imitate him and use him as an inspiration. It’s a great loss and may his soul rest in peace.”
KwaZulu-Natal boxing promoter and analyst, Thulani Magudulela, says Ali was instrumental in taking Africa to the world after that legendary fight 1974.
“I would like to say we will remember Muhammad Ali for raising the flag of our continent because he took the world fight to Congo (Zaire) which was the first time in the world that is the history that no one will change. We thank Ali for recognising our continent.