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Boxing | South Africa

Nkosinathi Joyi © Gallo Images

Joyi beats Rojas in first round

Nkosinathi Joyi bounced back in style when he won the WBA interim mini-flyweight title in East London on Saturday night.

Joyi stopped Argentina’s Walter Rojas in the first round of their fight at the Orient Theatre to make up for his loss to Mexican Mario Rodriguez, who took over his IBF minimumweight title three months ago.

It took Joyi only two minutes, 13 seconds to stop Rojas, who had gone into the fight with a record of 23 wins and two defeats.

The taller Joyi was in control from the first bell and knocked Rojas down with a left to the body. The visitor beat the count but the referee stopped the fight when Rojas's corner men threw in the towel.

Joyi, who did not raise a sweat, said afterwards, "I didn't expect the fight to end so quickly, but I knew I was going to knock him out. I still wanted to fight, but the guy was not fighting."

The Mdantsane-born southpaw said he would discuss his future plans with promoter Siphatho Handi.

"My aim is to fight for the WBA title and show I'm still one of the best in the world."

Joyi, a 29-year-old southpaw, suffered his first defeat when he was knocked out in the seventh round by Mario Rodriguez of Mexico on September 1. It caused his record to drop to 22-1, with one no-contest and five knockouts.

Rojas had won 19 fights – 18 by knockout – lost only twice and drawn once.

On the same bill, Zolani Marali beat Ali Funeka on points in a bout for the World Boxing Federation’s junior welterweight title.

Funeka, 34, and Marali, 35, met in a rematch at junior welterweight after Funeka had won on a disputed decision when they fought in November last year.

It was an entertaining fight, with toe-to-toe action throughout. The scores were 116-114 and 116-113 on the other two cards.

"I'm happy to have won this fight. I knew I beat him last year but my mistake at the time was fighting him from the ropes," Marali said.

"I made sure I landed more punches this time."

Marali has held the World Boxing Federation junior featherweight and junior lightweight belts and the IBO junior featherweight and junior lightweight titles. Funeka is a former WBF junior welterweight champion.

Tshifhiwa Munyai beat Oscar Chauke to win the vacant WBA Pan-African junior featherweight crown.

Munyai is a former Commonwealth bantamweight and IBO junior featherweight champion and Chauke is a former WBF champion.

Munyai improved his record to 22-2-1, with 10 knockouts, and Chauke dropped to 29-8-2; 10.

Macbute Sinyabi struggled before overcoming Pfariso Neluvhalani to retain his SA junior featherweight title.

Sinyabi improved to 20-2; 18 after the ninth defence of his title. Neluvhalani dropped to 9-7-1; 1.

Gabisile Tshabalala retained her SA junior featherweight title with a points win over Nomvelo Magcaba.

The tournament was presented by Siphatho Handi.


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