American swim star Amanda Beard – the ex-girlfriend of Ryk Neethling – is looking at competing at her fifth Olympics in London 2012.
That’s amazing longevity. Neethling himself was an ageing warrior at his fourth Olympics in Beijing 2008. Veteran Roland Schoeman will compete at his fourth Games if he makes the team for London.
At her first Games in Atlanta 1996, Beard played second fiddle to SA’s breaststroke queen Penny Heyns, who became the first (and so far only) woman to win both the 100m and 200m races at a single Games.
Golfers are not the only ones at Sun City this week – the Miss World contestants are here too.
I spotted them at lunch on Wednesday, and had to queue behind them for the self-service buffet. By the time I got there, they had polished off the rice and the spinach!
There was no shortage of meat dishes and desserts, however.
CELEBRITY Steve Hofmeyr was at ringside to watch Moruti Mthalane win the vacant IBF flyweight crown in Johannesburg on Friday night. But the boxer he really came to see – alleged hitman Mikey Schultz – was knocked out in one round.
Fighting for a peripheral continental title, Schultz went into this bout at the Wembley indoor arena against Zimbabwe’s Tineyi Maridzo looking to win his first ever belt as a professional boxer and stretch his unbeaten record.
But after just more than a minute Maridzo threw a right cross and Schultz ducked into it, catching the blow on the side of his head.
The shot switched his lights off instantly; he toppled onto the floor and didn’t move again until the referee was more than midway through the count.
Schultz, who is believed to be involved in the killing of mining magnate Brett Kebble, tried hard to stand up, but when he lifted his hands off the canvas he lost his balance and careened into the ropes. The fight lasted just 87 seconds.
Schultz’s wife, a few seats away from Hofmeyr, burst into tears and was comforted by friends and family.
The action didn’t end there, however. Walking back to his dressing room Schultz was loudly booed by a black fan who, as a result, was set upon by a Schultz supporter. Another white onlooker was heard to swear at the black fan and shouting at him to “go back to Soweto”.
Security guards and police ended the scuffle fairly quickly, although only after the Schultz fan had thrown several punches, most of which seemed to miss.
The night belonged to Mthalane who easily outboxed Mexican Julio Cesar Miranda to become South Africa’s third reigning IBF titleholder, alongside junior-bantamweight Simphiwe Nonqayi and welterweight Isaac Hlatshwayo, who defends against Germany-based Jan Zavac at the same venue on December 11.
The last time this nation boasted three or more “bona fide” world champions you’d have to go back to the mid-1990s when Vuyani Bungu (junior-featherweight), Mbulelo Botile (bantamweight) and Phillip Holiday (lightweight) ruled supreme.
For a brief stint in 1996 Sugarboy Malinga joined them as WBC super-middleweight king, while Baby Jake Matlala held the WBO junior-flyweight belt.
Matlala was the first SA fighter to bid for IBF flyweight crown, back in 1991, but he was stopped by Dave McAuley. Mzukisi Sikali tried in 2005 but quit against Vic Darchinyan.
Mthalane challenged Nonito Donaire for the same belt last year, but lost on a cut. On Friday night he made no mistake as he jabbed Miranda into oblivion.
The Mexican was simply unable to avoid his left-hand lead; he may as well have had a sign printed on his face saying: “Hit here!”
Mthalane threw leather at Miranda’s head all night, and appeared to rock him frequently throughout the 12 rounds, although one sensed that the Mexican was playing possum in the hope of enticing the South African to drop his guard.
He struggled to get past Mthalane’s tight defence, although in the eighth round he landed a right hand that forced his opponent to hold.
Mthalane landed some peach right hands of his own too, but he could have won this fight with his left alone.
Two judges scored it for Mthalane 118-111 and the third 117-111. Mthalane improved his record to 24-2, while Miranda dropped to 30-5-1.
On the undercard, SA bantamweight champion Klaas Mboyane outmuscled Cleutus Mbhele for 12 rounds while Zolani Tete blew Tanzanian Anthony Matthias out in one round.
Jeffrey Mathebula stopped Rashid Ally, also of Tanzania, in the fourth round.
The only successful foreign boxer on the bill was Maridzo, who was so chuffed with his victory over Schultz that you might have thought he’d won the world title by knocking out Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao with one punch.
His record now reads eight wins and four losses; Schultz dropped to 16-1-2.
Hugh Grant reportedly says he is single because he is suffering an addiction – to golf.
“I’m obsessed and it’s destroying my life. Golf is an addiction,” he was quoted as saying by Bang Showbiz.
“I’ll get out of bed in the middle of the night and practice my swing in front of the mirror.”
Grant explained it was difficult to find a love partner. “When you say to a girl ‘I play golf’ her eyes glaze over”. I do feel guilty about my golf. You know you’re a sad case when you spend your spare time reading books on putting or going on YouTube to watch slow motion golf swings.”
This may sound strange, but I would argue that golf addiction is a real “affliction”. I know a guy who nearly lost his job because he would sneak off during the day to play golf (he told me this during a round of golf, by the way).
According to reports on the internet, Hollywood actor Nicolas Cage is broke.
It seems quite a shock when it happens to a high-flying celebrity like that, because sportsmen are the most common victims – especially boxers, although not exclusively.
Mike Tyson is probably the most famous case, but there have been many others.
In South Africa there are several boxers who earned good money during their careers but now they are broke. It’s sad that they could not invest their money wisely (it’s amazing how many of them decided to open businesses, which almost always went under).
The thing about these sportsmen is that they have until their 30s to make their money before their earning potential is over.
Cage, on the other hand, is 45 and still making movies. Mind you, I remember reading somewhere that Elvis Presley was less than a year away from going bankrupt when he died.
If you believe in coincidence, how about this – Elvis’s birthday is January 8 and Cage’s is January 7! Also born on January 7 is Corrie Sanders, South Africa’s former heavyweight star who is now also broke.
Ali star Will Smith is doing a remake of the Karate Kid, the 1980s movie that made Ralph Macchio famous.
With all the remakes and remixes we keep seeing in the movies and hearing on the radio, one wonders when we’re going to see a proper make-over in boxing – like a new Muhammad Ali or Sugar Ray Robinson.
The best we’ve got is Floyd Mayweather, whose ungentlemanly conduct out the ring means he can never be considered in Ali’s class, and Manny Pacquiao, a great boxer who has yet to transcend the ring on the international scale as Ali did.
I often get accused of living in the past when it comes to boxing, but I see I’m not the only one – the entertainment industry does it too.
Troubled British singer Amy Winehouse is reportedly dating the son of heavyweight legend, George Foreman, who famously knocked fighters like Joe Frazier, Ken Norton and Michael Moorer off their feet.
According to ANI, George Edward Foreman III is sweeping the British star off her feet (click here to read the story).
Like his dad, George jnr, 26, is also a heavyweight boxer and at 6’5″ (1.956m) he’s an inch-and-a-half taller than “Big George”. George jnr is unbeaten in three professional bouts, all by stoppage.
There are doubts about how steamy this relationship will get – George jnr’s ring name is “Monk”.