By Ron Jackson
Former SA flyweight champion and long-time administrator Marcus Temple died in Cape Town on Saturday, October 13. He was 80. Marcus William Leslie Temple was born in Luanshaya on April 21, 1932. He became an outstanding amateur and won the SA flyweight championship in 1949. He represented South Africa at the Empire Games in Auckland, New Zealand, in 1950 and won a bronze medal.
Temple turned professional the same year and on July 1 outpointed Plasie Fourie over four rounds in Johannesburg. After three more victories he was knocked out in the seventh round by Tiny Corbett.
Temple then beat Herby Andre and Jan van Zyl on points to finish his first year in the pro ranks with six wins and one defeat.
In his first fight in 1951 he outpointed Des Williams who had represented South Africa at the 1948 London Olympics.
He then stopped Herby Andre, Tiny Corbett and Johnny Engelbrecht before winning the SA flyweight title in Durban on July 26 when he knocked out Kalla Persson in the seventh round.
His only loss in 1951 was to a Frenchman, Georges Mousse, who outpointed him over ten rounds on November 30 in Durban. Mousse also drew with world bantamweight champion Vic Toweel, who beat him on points in two other close fights.
Temple retained the SA flyweight title in two fights against Persson before fighting to a draw and losing on points in two fights against a cagey Italian, Tino Cardinale.
After that he took a break to concentrate on his studies as an accountant and was inactive for over two years. He returned on February 1, 1955 and beat Willie van der Merwe on points over six rounds.
After losing to Gerry Jooste in March and again on May 23, Temple retired at the age of 23 to concentrate on his business career. He finished with a record of 17-5-1, including 6 knockouts.
He remained in boxing as chairman of the Cape Provincial Boxing Board for many years and also served on the board of the SA National Boxing Board.