The boxing fraternity is mourning the death of former South African junior featherweight and dual world champion Zolani “The Untouchable” Marali.
Marali, 44, was shot dead in his flat in Hillbrow, Johannesburg on Friday night.
The motive behind the killing has not yet been established but reports suggest it may have been an ordered hit.
Born in the Eastern Cape, left-handed Marali was one of the most colourful personalities in South African boxing.
He won a bronze medal at the 1999 All-Africa Games to qualify for the 2000 Sydney Olympics but lost his place after testing positive for the use of marijuana.
Confirming the murder, Boxing South Africa Eastern Cape manager Phakamile Jacobs said Marali would be remembered for enthralling fans with his silky smooth style and charisma. His talent saw him win the South African title in his 10th fight against Oupa Lubisi in Secunda, Mpumalanga in 2002.
“From there he went on to capture the International Boxing Organisation, World Boxing Foundation and World Boxing Federation titles in three weights from junior-featherweight to junior-welterweight,” said Jacobs.
“Nobody will forget those epic fights when he, against all odds, beat the feared Ali Funeka and Kaizer Mabuza.”
Marali retired with a record of 24 wins and six defeats. His last fight was when he lost the WBF title to Julius Indongo at Windhoek Country Club Resort in Windhoek in Namibia in 2015.
Marali’s death comes a week after famous boxing commentator Dumile Mateza took his last breath at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital in Johannesburg.
Image source: @SowetanLIVE