THE mood was sombre in Nick Durandt's change room at Sasol Recreation Centre, Embalenhle in Mpumalanga on Friday night.
This was after his charges, Phumzile Matyhila and Vicent Vuma, had lost to Lwazi Mzolisa and Tshepo Mashego, respectively.
Assistant trainers, Kenny Mabunda and Damien Durandt (Nick's son) sat quietly metres away from each other while Vuma and Matyhila sat together in another corner.
Nick puffed on his cigarette outside, obviously trying to calm his nerves. "Asikujwayelanga loku thina (loosely translated: We are not used to this," said Mabunda.
Matyhila lost his first fight against 16 wins since he turned professional in 2004. He was rescued in the third round in what turned out to be Mzolisa's fifth stoppage in seven wins against two defeats.
Vuma lost the South African junior middleweight belt he has held since 2005. It was his fifth defence. He was dethroned by the man he outpointed in 2007.
But this time Vuma, who is from from Limpopo, delivered the title, and Mashego, who is from Mpumalanga, said thank you very much.
A well deserved win for Mashego. One judge, Sazi Xamlashe made Vuma the winner by 116-115 while Jaap van Niewenhuizen and Thabo Spampool scored it 115-113 and 116-112, respectively, for Mashego, who won via a split decision.
My uneducated judging is that Vuma did well in three rounds only. He was the aggressor but probably fivepercent of his punches hit the target yet Mashego's left hand jab was always spot on. That punch won Mashego the title.
Vuma's defence was porous and his usual timing was nonexistent.
Mashego was in control, such that a stoppage was beckoning if he gone for the jugular in any round after the eighth.
Other results: Junior heavyweight (four rounds): Khayeni Hlungwana beat Sgaun Goodal on points; Junior welterweight: Anthony Tshehla beat Bhekimpilo Mlilo tko 6; Junior middleweight (eight rounds): Page Tshesane beat Theophilus Mpakane on points.