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Boxing | South Africa

Thabiso Mchunu © Gallo Images

Mchunu the Last Man Standing



Thabiso Mchunu stopped Danie Venter in the fifth round to win the Super 8 cruiserweight series at Emperors Palace on Saturday night.

The muscular Mchunu also won the vacant African Boxing Union cruiserweight title as he turned out to be the Last Man Standing in the knockout competition.

He knocked the 33-year-old Venter down three times and the fight was over after 1 minute 52 seconds of the fifth round.

Mchunu, giving away several centimetres in height and reach, won every round on his way to victory. His performance enhanced his status as one of the most promising and exciting boxers in South Africa.

Nicknamed The Rock, the 24-year-old southpaw earned himself a place in an international knockout series to be held next year and set himself up for some big-money bouts.

Venter, who was counted out on his feet after taking two counts of eight, was unable to land any telling blows on his elusive opponent whose side-on stance made him an even more difficult target.

Mchunu’s timing was spot-on and he kept landing telling lefts from the opening round. Venter was bleeding from the nose in the third round and looked a badly beaten man at what could have been his last professional fight.

The veteran’s professional record dipped to 14-6, including 10 knockouts. Mchunu’s improved to 14-1, with 11 knockouts.

Mchunu beat Venter on points over eight rounds in June last year and has clearly made much progress since then. He has the power, speed, balance and defence that could take him a long way towards the top.

He won his first eight professional fights inside the distance before going 12 rounds against Daniel Bruwer in November 2010. By beating Venter, a former Olympian and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, he gained many new admirers.

The fight was the main attraction on Rodney Berman’s Golden Gloves Promotions tournament, one of the best shows of the year in SA boxing.



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