Jacob Matlala

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Jacob Matlala
Real nameJacob Matlala
Nickname(s)Baby Jake
Height4 ft 10 in (147 cm)[1]
Reach59 in (150 cm)
NationalitySouth Africa South African
Born(1962-08-01)1 August 1962
Meadowlands, Gauteng, South Africa
Died7 December 2013(2013-12-07) (aged 51)
Parktown, Gauteng, South Africa
Boxing record
Total fights68
Wins by KO26
No contests0

Jacob "Baby Jake" Matlala (1 August 1962 – 7 December 2013) was a South African boxer and junior flyweight champion from Meadowlands, Johannesburg. He won 4 world championship titles. In 2004, Matlala was voted #72 in the "100 Greatest South Africans" poll organized by SABC.


Jacob Matlala died on 7 December 2013, at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital.[2]

The former World Boxing Organisation, World Boxing Union (WBU) and International Boxing Association flyweight world champion had been admitted to hospital on numerous occasions over the past few years with complications related to pneumonia. Johannesburg – Dressed in royal blue and white uniforms and black berets, the New Covenant Church brass band escorted the coffin of boxing legend Jacob "Baby Jake" Matlala into the Rhema Church auditorium.[3]


At a height of 1.47 meters, or 4-foot-10, Matlala was the shortest boxing world champion ever. With a total of 68 fights (53 wins and 2 draws), he ended his career with 4 world championships. He presented his WBU belt to Nelson Mandela after his fight to Juan Herrera.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "'Baby' Jake Matlala: World champion in two weight divisions who was". The Independent. 9 December 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2022.
  2. ^ (7 December 2013). Baby Jake Matlala dies. sport24.co. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  3. ^ Motumi, Mpiletso (13 December 2013). Boxing giant Baby Jake laid to rest. iol.co. Retrieved 14 December 2013.
  4. ^ Morgan, Brad 'Baby Jake': small boxer, big heart Archived 26 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine. southafrica.info. Retrieved 7 December 2013.

External links[edit]

Boxing record for Jacob Matlala from BoxRec (registration required)

Sporting positions
World boxing titles
Preceded by WBO flyweight champion
15 May 1993 – 11 February 1995
Succeeded by
Preceded by WBO light-flyweight champion
18 November 1995 - 1997
Title next held by
Jesús Chong
Preceded by Shortest world champion
4ft 10in

15 May 1993 – present