Nelson Mandela was a pacifist, but also an example of human being passionate about the things he did in sport, and although he was against violence, he practiced boxing.
In 1950, the future social activist, began practicing this discipline in a gym in Johannesburg, South Africa and tells in his autobiography,’’ Long Walk to Freedom ’.
The club that opened the door to Mandela was the Donaldson Orlando Community Centre, a place where they lacked the basics... as he says: "We had no ring and we trained on cement, which was dangerous when a boxer was knocked down . We only had a punching bag and a few pairs of gloves. We had no medicine or fixed pears, not shorts, or adequate boots or mouth pieces either. "
’Madiba’, far from seeing boxing as a violent sport, saw it as an art, a science. "I do not like boxingviolence as much as the science. I was intrigued by how the body moves to protect itself, how a strategy for both attack and retreat is used, how it takes pace in a fight. "
Nelson Mandela never stopped being someone who thought of equality between human beings, that shows when he reflects on boxing. "Boxing is egalitarian. In the ring, rank, age, color, and wealth are irrelevant. When you’re in front of your opponent, when you study their strengths and weaknesses, do not think about their color or social status. "
The South African leader said that was not successful in boxing. "I wasn’t an outstanding boxer. I was in the heavyweight division and did not have enough power to compensate my lack of speed, or the speed to compensate my lack of power. "
Nelson Mandela received accolades from all over, and boxing could not stay aside. On April 1st, the WorldBoxing Council (WBC) named him ’King of Human Equality’.