MEMORIES of November 22 1986, when Simon "Tsipa" Skosana was stopped in the 15th round by Bernado Pinango for the WBA bantamweight belt in Springs, came back on Friday as if that sad defeat happened yesterday.
In that fight, going for the 15th round, Skosana was ahead in the score card of all three judges. But, despite his bravery against Pinango, Skosana paid a heavy price in the end. The lanky Venezuelan stopped him with less than a minute to the final gong.
On Friday night at Springs Indoor Arena where Skosana sat at the ringside, his homeboy, Silence Mabuza, suffered the same fate at the hands of Colombian Yohnny Perez.
Mabuza was four points ahead in all three judges going for the last round of their IBF bantamweight 12th rounder title eliminator.
He was messed up by the Colombian and this was met by a deafening silence from the poor crowd.
Mabuza hit Perez so hard in the body but the Colombian, remained composed.
A stiff jab to Mabuza's chin sent him to the canvas. He got up but his legs were groggy.
Perez launched a total onslaught and Mabuza went down and it was over.
Mabuza's stoppage was caused by the accumulation of power punches to the head, which he absorbed from the first round.
"El Colombia" earned the number one spot in the IBF's bantamweight ratings and also remained undefeated after 19 fights. He is now the mandatory challenger to the winner between champion, Joseph "King Kong" Agbeko and challenger Vic Darchinyana. Their fight will be on July 12.
"African Spice", as Mabuza is widely known in the fistic sport, who was rated third before their fight, will lose the top rating. This former IBO holder, who was stripped of that belt last year, suffered his third defeat all by stoppages against 22 wins (18 stoppages).
The attendance was disappointing considering that it was Mabuza's first professional fight at home since he turned professional in 1999.