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Mandela was a boxer

A traditional belief in Mexican culture is that there are three stages of death. Rudimentarily recounted, the first stage is physical death, our last breath; the second is when our bodies are lowered into the earth; the third is the last time our name is spoken, when there is no one left to remember us.

Nelson Mandela, who is in some part of the first phase at present and will almost certainly never reach the third, was -- among all the other things that made him one of the towering figures of the last century -- a boxing fan. A frankly aberrant, avid and feverishly passionate boxing fan. Before he took up the fight against apartheid, which was the fight that defined his life and ensured his legacy, Mandela was a boxer himself. At this late moment in his life, everything about Mandela is both more poignant and more significant. His love for boxing, this elemental, self-defeating, vital and troubled sport, is no different.

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