Champion with a disputed record

JOHANNESBURG. — Bashew Sibaca, a former South African featherweight champion and world title challenger, is reported to have had 100 professional fights but there are record keepers out there who dispute this. Certain sources have reported his record as 77-21-2; 26 whereas Boxrec and South Africa’s top record keeper Andre de Vries have his record as 50-21-2; 13. The Ring Record Book and Boxing Encyclopedia have listed 94 fights.

However, despite the confusion about the correctness of his record, the Cape Town born Xhosa, who fought as a professional from 1968 to 1983 was an outstanding fighter.

Born in the township of Langa on March 30, 1949, he was a keen football player as a youngster and it was after he got into an argument with another player, who had boxed a bit and beat him, that he joined a boxing club.

“Battling Joe”, who was a popular local fighter, spoke to him after the fight and encouraged him to come to the gym and learn how to box.

Bashew did well as an amateur, winning a number of championships before making his professional debut at the Langa Stadium in October 1968 with a second-round stoppage win over Jake Majola. On March 13, 1969, he outpointed Stanley Jacobs over ten rounds to claim the vacant Cape bantamweight title.

Known as “Blue Angel” he remained unbeaten until he met up with Anthony Sithole on June 27, 1970, at the Orlando Stadium near Johannesburg in a challenge for the non-white South African bantamweight title, but was stopped in the fourth round.

On July 28, 1973, at the Centenary Hall in New Brighton, Port Elizabeth, he once again challenged for the South African non-white bantamweight title but lost on points to Joseph Gumede.

He then decided to travel to England and after winning against Mario Stango and losing to Vernon Sollas he went in against Dave Needham on March 7, 1974. Near the end of the second round, after a clash of heads, he was disqualified and an amount of R400 was withheld from his purse by the British Boxing Board. Fighting out of his division he lost on points to John Kellie and also lost to Vernon Sollas on a stoppage when he had to retire with a dislocated shoulder at the end of the sixth round.

Returning to South Africa he won another two fights and once again challenged for the non-white South African bantamweight title on December 12, 1974, but was outpointed by Chris Dlamini. Moving up to featherweight on October 9, 1976, he lost to Tsietsie Maretloane on points in a challenge for the South African non-white title. — SuperSport

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