22nd October 1999 was a red-letter day in South African boxing history, as both Zolile Mbityi and Peter Malinga captured world titles. Mbityi, South African (SA) flyweight, won the International Boxing Organisation (IBO) flyweight title, while Peter Malinga, SA welterweight, won the International Boxing Organisation (IBO) welterweight title. The number of South African world champions peaked in the 1990’s. The country had six world champions in 1995, five the following year and six in 1997.
In 1998, the number stood at eight, and in 1999 at five world title holders. However, the term of “world champion” has become a misnomer as in most cases modern title holders are not world champions in the sense that the term was understood prior to the sixties. Presently they are merely WBA, WBC, WBO, WBU, IBO or IBF champions or belt holders.
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