During Saturday night’s Boxing After Dark tripleheader telecast from Atlantic CityHBO will replay clips of a 2001 interview with former South African President Nelson Mandela.
Mandela was a huge boxing fan, and was himself a former boxer. While he was detained in jail he kept himself physically and mentally fit with his boxing workout. He met and got to know Muhammad Ali on several occasions, and a 15-foot tall statue of Mandela boxing can be seen in front of a courthouse in Johannesburg, South Africa.
One day before Hasim Rahman upset Lennox Lewis for the heavyweight championship on April 21, 2001 in South Africa, HBO commentator Larry Merchant sat down for a one-on-one interview with the extraordinary leader at his home in Mozambique. The two discussed Mr. Mandela’s connection and appreciation of the sport of boxing.
It’s pretty cool to learn more about Mandela’s passion for boxing.
Rest in peace Nelson Mandela, a true hero and global legend.