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Boxing | South Africa

Mzonke Fana © Gallo Images

Classy Fana stops Seroka in sixth



Mzonke Fana stopped Jasper Seroka in the sixth round in Johannesburg on Friday night to become the mandatory challenger for the IBF junior lightweight title.

The former IBF champion systematically demolished the SA champion's defence until American referee Wayne Kelly stepped in at 1 minute 39 seconds of the sixth round.

By then, Seroka (58.82 kg) was not in control of his legs and staggering all over the ring, unable to avoid Fana's barrage of blows and incapable of mounting an attack of his own.

Fana's left jab found the mark in the first round and the first overhand right landed in the second. Seroka immediately clung to his opponent until the bell rang.

Seroka went on all-out attack in the third round, risking the possibility of punching himself out of all energy. Not many of the punches landed and he lost whatever composure he had.

The 35-year-old Rose of Khayelitsha, a talented professional, remained calm and used the jab to break down Seroka before launching the attack that put the result beyond doubt.

Seroka, 28, was in deep trouble by the end of the fourth round and even closer to a knockout defeat at the end of the fifth. He was clearly out of his depth against a classy veteran who wasted no time to end the fight in the next round.

Fana (58.84 kg) will now meet the winner of the fight between the IBF champion, South Africa's Malcolm Klassen, and Robert Guerrero who meet in Houston, Texas, on August 22.

Klassen was at the Nasrec Indoor Arena to see Fana earn the right to challenge for the title. He must have been impressed, even though he will fancy his chances against a man who may be slowing down just a little.

Fana, who lost the belt to Cassius Baloyi in April last year, improved his record to 29-4, with 12 stoppages. Seroke dropped to 20-2; 9.

Now ranked No 4 by the IBF, Fana won the junior lightweight belt in April 2007 when he upset Klassen in Khayelitsha. If Klassen retains his belt against Guerero, the rematch with Fana will fill almost any venue in South Africa.

Undercard bouts

In the main supporting, bout Kaizer Mabuza (63.15 kg) was just too strong for Thulani Mkhwanazi (62.96 kg) when he retained his SA junior welterweight title with a third-round technical knockout.

Mkhwanazi was down for a count in the first and for another two counts in the second round. After he had been knocked down again in the third round, referee Thabo Spampool waved the fight off 2 minutes 27 seconds into the round.

Mabuza, who was making the second defence of his title, improved his record to 21-6-3; 13 and Mkhwanazi dropped to 10-7-1; 5.

In a clash for the vacant WBO Africa junior bantamweight title, the classy Muvhuso Nedzanani (51.82 kg) knocked out Ramadhan Mkudi (51.78 kg) from Tanzania in the third round.

After a slow start Nedzanani (23-1-3; 13) picked up the pace in the third round before landing a classic left hook to the jaw that sent Mkudi (10-2; 4) flat on his back.

Referee Tony Nyangiwe counted him out 1 minute 34 seconds into the round.

In a scheduled ten-round international bantamweight contest, Tshihiwa Munyai (51.82 kg) stopped Galley Codjoe (51.78 kg) of Tanzania 2 minutes 28 seconds into the first round.

The taller Munyai was in control from the first bell as he boxed from behind his left jab against the southpaw Codjoe before stunning him with some big right hands to the jaw.

The Tanzanian complained that referee Jaap van Nieuwenhuizen had stopped the bout prematurely, but he was on a hiding to nothing at the time of the stoppage.

Munyai takes his record to 18-1-1; 9 and Codjoe drops to 13-5-2; 4.

In the best bout of the night, lightweights Joseph Modise (61.16 kg) and Jason Bedeman (60.92 kg) fought to a draw over six rounds.

In a flyweight contest Anele Makhwelo (50.70 kg) beat Patson Munyaro (50.72 kg) on points over six rounds.

* Promoter Branco Milenkovic has won the right to stage the IBF junior bantamweight title fight between champion Vic Darchinyan and South Africa’s Simphiwe Nongqayi.

Milenkovic won with a bid of $100 000 (R785 000) in New Jersey. However, it was later announced that Darchinyan had relinquished the belt.

Milenkovic will now try to negotiate with promoter Fernando Beltran from Mexico to set up a fight between Jorge Arce and Nongqayi for the vacant belt.



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