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Blast from the past: Devastated Tuli gives winnings to rival’s widow

03 November 2020 - 20:24 By david isaacson

1952 — SA’s Empire flyweight champion Jake Tuli outpoints former French title-holder Honore Pratesi over 10 rounds at the Royal Albert Hall in London, but his opponent dies 36 hours later. The 31-year-old father of one, who had lost a bid for the world crown in 1950, collapsed after the bout and underwent two operations for bleeding on the brain. Pratesi, a medical orderly, died while his wife, Colette, was travelling to his bedside. Tuli, just 21 at the time, broke down and wept like a baby when he learnt of Pratesi’s death. Then the religious fighter prayed and asked to see a clergyman. “I am so sorry for his poor wife and family,” Tuli told his manager, Jim Wicks. An inquest into the tragedy returned a verdict of death by misadventure. Tuli fought a month later, stopping Belgian Emile Delplanque in the fourth round in Nottingham in the UK, then donated his purse of 300 guineas to Pratesi’s widow...

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