Late Breaking

South African boxer Edward Mpofu banned for life for using plaster of paris under gloves during a bout in September

According to SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation) News, former South African featherweight boxing champion Edward “Spoiler” Mpofu was handed a lifelong ban from professional boxing. It was determined that Mpofu used plaster of paris over his wraps during a fight in September with Thanduxlo Dyani in East London, South Africa. Mpofu, and his manager Eugene Khanyille were charged with bringing the name of boxing into disrepute. As result Mpofu was banned for life, and Khanylie was given a 10 year ban. Mpofu tried fleeing the venue when local promoter, Mzimasi Mnguni became suspicious of the stiffness of Mpofu’s wraps. This comes just months after young flyweight, Samora Msophi, died three days after his South African title fight with Mfundo Gwayana in the same South African town of East London.

This brings back the chilling account of the Billy Collins Jr., Luis Resto fight of 1983. Who can forget the haunting black and white picture of a battered Billy Collins, Jr. after his vicious assault at the criminal hands of Resto and his trainer Panama Lewis? Just months ago Resto finally admitted to the use of plaster of paris, in addition to removing an ounce of padding under the gloves. During that fight Collins took a severe beating and suffered a torn iris causing blurred vision, which prevented him from ever fighting again. Collins, who fell into a deep depression began drinking heavily and was killed in a car accident 9 months after the fight with Resto in 1983. Many including Collins’ family believe that the fight with Resto resulted in the loss of his livelihood and broke him psychologically and many speculate the accident in the car was not an accident but a suicide. Both Resto and Lewis spent two and a half years in prison for this atrocity. The original jail time was based solely on the padding being removed from gloves with no knowledge of the plaster under the illegally tampered gloves. Our judicial system predicates itself on fairness and adheres to the double jeopardy rule but does this new evidence given by Resto constitute a stiffer penalty for all parties involved? This is yet another ugly stamp on the record books of our sweet science going sour.