The Long Drop

Sports, courts and afterthoughts

What do Miss World contestants eat?

By David Isaacson | 2009-12-02 16:56:47

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.

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Latest Tiger Woods family portrait

By David Isaacson | 2009-12-02 14:15:16
The happy couple

The happy couple

This is the latest email joke doing the rounds – Tiger Woods, supposedly fresh from his accident, posing with wife Elin Nordegren.

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Funeka robbed in world title bout

By David Isaacson | 2009-11-29 06:34:18


East London boxer Ali Funeka smashed unbeaten Joan Guzman for the better part of 12 rounds in Canada on Saturday night, but was handed a controversial draw instead.

He was fighting for the vacant IBF lightweight crown.

Judge Joseph Pasquale scored it 116-112 in the South African’s favour, but Alan Davis and Benoit Roussel had it 114-114. No fewer than three boxing writers at ringside called the draw controversial, saying Funeka should have been given the decision over US-based Guzman, who hails from Dominican Republic.

Funeka, who lost on points to Nate Campbell in a previous bid at the same title early this year, would have been annointed South Africa’s fourth reigning IBF king, alongside Isaac Hlatshwayo (welterweight), Simphiwe Nonqayi (junior-bantamweight) and Moruti Mthalane (flyweight).

Funeka’s record now reads 30 wins (25 by KO), two losses and three draws. For Guzman, who has previously won world titles at junior-featherweight and junior-lightweight, it was the first time he had not won a professional bout. His record now stands at 29-0-1 (17 KOs).

Play the Thierry Henry soccer game right here

By David Isaacson | 2009-11-24 13:25:28

Here’s the latest internet joke poking fun at Thierry Henry’s handball – a video game of the Frenchman scoring goals with his hand!

Click here to play it right away (use the left click on your mouse to hit the ball).

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Why Mayweather is up there, and De La Hoya & Tyson are not

By David Isaacson | 2009-11-22 18:35:57
Manny Pacquiao returned home on Friday. PICTURE: AP

Manny Pacquiao returned home on Friday. PICTURE: AP

Many readers have questioned my decision to include Floyd Mayweather inside my list of top-10 boxers of all time.

Others have queried my omissions of Oscar De La Hoya and Mike Tyson.

Thanks for all your comments. I’d like to explain myself, and while I don’t expect you to agree with me, hopefully you can understand my thinking. Read More…

Steve Hofmeyr watches as Mthalane wins, Schultz KO’ed

By David Isaacson | 2009-11-21 01:21:59
Moruti Mthalane poses with the IBF flyweight belt after beating Mexico's Julio Cesar Miranda in Johannesburg on Friday night

Moruti Mthalane poses with the IBF flyweight belt after beating Mexico's Julio Cesar Miranda in Johannesburg on Friday night

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.

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Manny Pacquiao fires back at Floyd Mayweather

By David Isaacson | 2009-11-20 15:50:24
Manny Pacquiao arrived home on Friday. PICTURE: AP

Manny Pacquiao arrived home on Friday. PICTURE: AP

It wasn’t exactly a taunt, but in his own quiet way Manny Pacquiao fired back at braggart Floyd Mayweather.

On his arrival home on Friday Pacquiao referred to the fact that his bout against Miguel Cotto earned more pay-per-views than Mayweather’s last fight. “We are not forcing a fight with him. It is right that he is the one challenging me, because my fights score more on pay-per-view.”

Well said, Pacman!

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Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather need each other

By David Isaacson | 2009-11-19 18:25:45
The first clash between Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran was an all-time classic

The first clash between Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran was an all-time classic

Would anybody argue with the assertion that Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather jnr are the two best pound-for-pound boxers on the planet right now?

You can add further spice to that by making Manny Pacquiao the world’s best active offensive fighter, and Mayweather the best active defensive boxer. You’ve got the irresistable force against the untouchable target (one can’t call Mayweather the unmovable object).

Fans should be relishing the prospect of a match-up between these two men. Until Mayweather retired, after hammering Ricky Hatton, he was the pound-for-pound king. In his absence, that title has been usurped by Pacquiao. Read More…

What do you think of Thierry Henry’s handball?

By David Isaacson | 2009-11-19 15:00:50


Thierry Henry admitted he handled the ball in the build-up to William Gallas’s goal against Ireland on Wednesday night. That goal meant that France avoided having to go into a penalty shoot-out to qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Henry shrugged off the controvery saying he’s not the referee. But isn’t that like a criminal saying it’s okay to rob banks because it’s actually the job of the police to catch him?

I’m beginning to think that France should be exiled from world football. Read More…

Hugh Grant is a self-confessed addict … to golf

By David Isaacson | 2009-11-19 12:37:56
Hugh Grant has possibly read more putts than books

Hugh Grant has possibly read more putts than books

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).

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