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Boxing | South Africa

Thomas Oosthuizen © Gallo Images

Great night for SA boxers



On a great night for SA boxing, Thomas Oosthuizen won the IBO super-middleweight title at Emperors Palace on Saturday night.

Oosthuizen, in a command performance, stopped Colombian Evert Bravo in the ninth round after winning almost every round of the main bout of the tournament at the venue near Kempton Park.

The stoppage came 2 minutes 34 seconds into the round, just before one o’ clock in the morning, local time.

The confident southpaw, in his second crack at winning the vacant IBO belt, impressed against an accomplished, well-prepared opponent.

Oosthuizen, 21, enjoyed a good height and reach advantage, and showed exceptional hand speed and movement. Keeping his hands low, too low, and doing more than a little showboating, he was in control all the way.

He unleashed a double-barrel attack in the fourth that had Bravo in trouble. But the well-built Colombian never stopped stalking Oosthuizen and scored with several solid rights.

Referee Howard Foster showed excellent judgment when he stopped the fight at a time Bravo was taking too many damaging punches.

Oosthuizen was rather fortunate to receive a draw against Isaac Chilemba in a clash for the vacant belt in November last year. But this time he used his unquestionable talents to good effect.

Improving his record to 11-0-1, including nine knockouts, he looked capable of fighting in the big league.

Oosthuizen had previously won the IBO Youth light-heavyweight, the IBO Youth super-middleweight and the WBA Pan-African super-middleweight belts.

The 25-year-old Bravo had lost only one of his previous 16 professional fights. He won 11 inside the distance.

TAKALANI WINS IBF TITLE

At the Nasrec Indoor Arena on the other side of Johannesburg, South African Takalani Ndlovu won the IBF junior featherweight belt when he beat Steve Molitor of Canada on points.

The scores were 118-110 on two cards and 116-112 on the third.

Ndlovu kept his nose in front throughout the bout with a fine exhibition of intelligent boxing. His record now stands at 32-6, including 18 knockouts.

The 30-year-old Molitor, whose record dropped to 33-2, with 12 knockouts, had held the title twice and had beaten Ndlovu in one of his defences.

MTHALANE RETAINS IBF BELT

IBF flyweight champion Moruti Mthalane retained his belt when he stopped Johnriel Casimero from the Philippines 1 minute 51 seconds into the fifth round of the bout at Nasrec.

Mtahlane improved to 26-2; 17 by winning his second defence, a voluntary one.

Casimero, a former WBO junior flyweight champion, dropped to 14-1; 8.

HARD WORKOUT FOR CHILEMBA

At Emperors Palace, Isaac Chilemba won the vacant WBC International light-heavyweight title when he beat Namibian Vikapita Meroro on points over twelve rounds: 117-111, 118-112 and 119-110.

Chilemba improved his record to 18-1-1, with 8 stoppages. Meroro dropped to 20-2; 9.

After two ugly, boring rounds, Chilemba rocked Meroro twice in the third. He also put together a couple of points-scoring combination in the sixth but the powerfully built Namibian took it well.

Chilemba, raised in Malawi but now based in Gauteng, gained valuable time in the middle. However, his supporters were expecting a little more from the man who had defeated Maxim Vlasov of Russia in his previous fight.

Leading on all three scorecards after eight rounds, Chilemba was never in danger of losing. Meroro, an awkward opponent, tied up Chilemba whenever he seemed to be in trouble.

He certainly was in the last two rounds when, bleeding from a cut near the right eye, he took several clubbing right hands.

TALIWE WINS ON SPLIT DECISION

Sipho Taliwe retained his WBC International junior lightweight title when he beat Vinvin Rufino on a split decision.

The scores were 116-110 and 113-112 for Taliwe and 115-111 for the challenger.

Taliwe (58.76 kg) knocked Rufino (58.96) down with a left to the head after less than two minutes and put the southpaw on the deck again a minute later, this time with a solid right in the face.

The Filipino, who had taken Taliwe the full distance in losing their first match on a majority decision last November, settled in the second round and came out firing from all angles in the third.

With 40 seconds to go in the third, Rufino launched a left to the face that left Taliwe sitting on the canvas, listening to referee Siya Vabaza count.

Rufino, making no effort to defend himself against the champion’s straight right, and leaving himself open to the left too, went KO hunting with his own left, and earned the respect of the spectators as well as Taliwe.

Both boxers lost their timing and rhythm halfway through the bout and it turned into a bit of a brawl as the challenger tried to negate the South African’s reach advantage.

Taliwe was ahead on two of the three scorecards after eight rounds and stayed in front as Rufino failed to put together any meaningful combinations. The champion improved his record to 17-2-1, with 14 knockouts. Rufino dropped to 13-6.

SIMBA SENSATIONAL

Sensational heavyweight Flo Simba remained undefeated with another devastating knockout win.

The young Zimbabwean, based in South Africa, stopped Brazilian Fernando de Almeida in less than a minute of a bout for the vacant IBO Youth heavyweight title.

Dynamite right hands put De Almeida on the canvas within half a minute and when he went down again, the referee did not even pick up the count. The stoppage time was 55 seconds.

Simba has frightening punching power and looks set to fight much better opponents within the next year.

MUNYAI NEW IBO CHAMPION

Tshifhiwa Munyai won the vacant IBO super-bantamweight belt when he beat Danilo Pena from the Philippines on points – 120-108, 118-110 and 119-109.

Munyai, one of the most exciting young fighters in South Africa, kept his cool against an opponent who produced a performance that made the Wild Man from Borneo look like the hero in a love story.

Pena might have entertained spectators who brought along a strange sense of humour, but he did not show any boxing skills. He took a few dozen blows that must have been severely detrimental to his health.

Joey Stiglingh produced another promising performance when he stopped Wandile Mseleku 1 minute 41 seconds into the final round of a six-round junior lightweight bout.

The tournament at Emperors Palace was presented by Rodney Berman of Golden Gloves Promotions and broadcast live on SuperSport.

MOKWANA NEW SA CHAMPION

At Nasrec, Thompson Mokwana stopped Patrick Malinga 45 seconds into the seventh round to take over the SA lightweight title.

The 33-year-old Malinga, making his fourth defence, dropped to 27-6-2; 24.The new champion’s record now stands at 12-4, with 7 stoppages.

Branco Milenkovic of Branco Sports Productions presented the tournament at Nasrec.



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