Sphiwe Nongqayi defied all the odds and showed his true potential on Friday night by stopping the vastly experienced Dario Azuaga in six rounds in Carletonville.
The vanquished Paraguayan, who boasted a knockout ratio of 58 from 69 wins against 11 losses and two draws, had to be rescued from total destruction by referee Eddy Marshall.
Nongqayi added his sixth TKO win and register the second defence of the WBF junior bantamweight title. He also retained his unblemished record which now reads 13 wins.
Nongqayi was not convincing when he won the title against Khulile Makeba, a washed up fighter, in December last year and was also unimpressive in his first defence in May against Rafael Tirado despite having stopped both these boxers in eight and seven rounds respectively.
But "Golden Master", who is easily recognised with his golden goatee and a chess-board hairstyle, showed grit and determination. He overwhelmed Azuaga with fury.
Nongqayi boxed brilliantly behind his left jab, followed with a straight right and ended his rhythm with a left uppercut - a perfect strategy for a shorter opponent such as Azuaga who had to bob and weave his way into the inside and throw bombs.
Mentor Nick Durandt said not all of Nongqayi's jabs were meant to land but some were intended to keep Azuaga occupied.
Their fight topped the World Sports Promotion's five-bout programme of promoter Thinus Strydom which was bankrolled by King Korn.
Miners inside the Masizakhele Indoor Arena at the Driefontein gold mine were thrilled by the bloody slugfest between Daniel Samuels and Koos Matshiya earlier on.
The eight rounder was eventually won, deservedly so, by Samuels on points. The Baby Champs 2006 titlist is trained by Ashley Whiteboy (former Cape Town junior lightweight champion). Other results: Bongani Dlamini beat Owen Mckay (TKO 1), Xolani Ntese beat Joek Kunene (TKO 8) and Bongani Mwelase beat Sello Letsoalo (TKO 8).