After days of unsuccessfully trying to secure an interview with the then young boxing champion Ludumo Galada, we finally met on a rainy Tuesday morning at his home in N U 1 about six years ago. I remember as if it was yesterday the day before the interview, his phone rang unanswered for some time when I tried to call him. When he finally answered I could hear voices in the background and I later realised that I was interfering a man while he was busy in conversation (praying) with the almighty.
On my arrival his beaming smile assured me that I was welcomed, and soon I became aware of his unassuming stature and good demeanour, which made it hard to believe that he was beating up people for living, and was good at it.
From the start It became clear that this was not going to be an ordinary interview. Before we even started with the interview he suggested that we say a prayer and we also ended the interview with a prayer, which was an indication of how religious he was, and something I found a bit unusual for boxer.
At the time of the interview Galada had since become a WBF featherweight champion, a far cry to the ten year old boy who started boxing out of curiosity.
His array of medals and trophies were a reflection of his success as an amateur over the years, with an impressive record of 159 fights, losing 7 of these, 1 draw and 102 KO’s.
He counted many good memories as a boxer, like when he won his first medal in 1994, just a year after starting boxing. Between 2000 and 2005, he enjoyed the best years of his blossoming career, as he represented South African in many competitions like the All Africa Games, Commonwealth Games and the Zone 6 games in various countries in the senior amateur level. He also participated in the Olympic Qualifier Games in Botswana in 2004, were he was chosen to represent South African in Athens, but lost in the preliminary stages.
Galada’s episode should serve as a lesson to upcoming and current champions that dedication and discipline can take you a long way in boxing.
God fearing, hardworking and selfless are some of the attributes that best described Galada’s character. It was also his selflessness that ended his life in a car accident, the boxing fraternity was shocked by the news of his sudden death after fetching his ailing relative in Johanessburg when their car was alleged to be involved in head on collusion where he was killed instantly.