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Mr Eric Risimati Baloyi

The Order of Ikhamanga in

Mr Eric Risimati Baloyi Awarded for:
His excellent contribution to youth development by training young boxers who have gone on to make South Africa proud in global competitions.
Mr Eric Risimati Baloyi, affectionately known as ‘Uncle Eric’ and given the moniker of ‘The Iron Man’ in his heydays, has produced many boxers who later became professional boxing champions. At the venerable age of 75, he is still training boxers at his boxing gym in Malamulele in Limpopo.

Some of the professional boxers he has trained include Lovemore Ndou (who is based in Australia), Jeffrey Mathebula, Isaac Hlatswayo, Paulus Tshabalala, Mashudu Chauke and many others.

As an all-round sportsman, Baloyi was once a bodybuilder who also led soccer and marathon teams. Apart from coordinating a successful tournament that featured 27 bouts, he has saved young troubled boys from the underworld of drugs and crime by bringing them into the boxing ring.

A state-of-the-art indoor arena located near Baloyi’s house has become a second home for many budding boxers in his neighbourhood. His boxing skills have also been transferred to his son, Cassius, who is a world-renowned multiple title conqueror.

Following the release of former President Nelson Mandela in 1990, Baloyi was one of the leaders who unified the boxing fraternity, which was previously divided along racial and geographic lines.