Pierre Jacy Fourie was born on 26 June 1943 in Malvern, Johannesburg. He was the first recorded White boxer to fight against a Black opponent in South Africa. Fourie was the son of Petrus Fourie and his Welsh wife, Violet Morris. He grew up in a poor environment and was only thirteen years old when his father died. The eldest son, Martin, who earned but a meager income, took over the role of breadwinner of the family. As a youngster Fourie learnt in numerous street fights to defend himself with his fists

In 1965 he took up boxing under trainer and manager, Alan Toweel, and after a number of amateur fights joined the professional boxing ranks on 2 May 1966. He won his very first fight with a knockout in the first round. The partnership between Fourie and Toweel, one of the most successful in the history of South African boxing, continued throughout the eleven years of Fourie's career as a boxer. In his 60 professional fights, Fourie distinguished himself as a hard but clean and scientific boxer rather than a rough fighter.

He gained 52 victories, Fourie was beaten on points: by Foster on 21 August 1973 in Albuquerque (USA) and on 1 December 1973 in the Rand Stadium; by Galindez on 5 April 1975 at Ellispark (Johannesburg) and on 13 September 1975 in the Rand Stadium. The second fight between Fourie and Foster on 1 December 1973 was the first between a white and black boxer in South Africa and constitut e d a breakthrough for the removal of racial discrimination in professional boxing. At the time the attendance figure of 37 4704 spectators, the gate money of approximately R50 0 000, and the guaranteed purse of 200 000 dollars 10 Foster, were world records for the light-heavyweight division. Fourie lived with his family on Albuquerque Ranch on the southern outskirts of Johannesburg. Out of the ring he was a gentle man for whom family, friends, the work on the farm and mechanical hobbies were of great importance. He died when his car struck a fence at Cecil Payne Park, Maraisburg. Fourie married Julia Meintjes in 1962. A son and three daughters were born of the marriage.


Verwey, E.J. (ed)(1995)

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