BOXING master Manny Fernandez says Jason "Badman" Bedeman's third-round stoppage of fancied Bongani "Sweet Pie" Dlamini has bolstered his charge's confidence.
Bedeman, 21, who already holds the WBA Pan African lightweight title, was an underdog going into the IBO All Africa championship bout with Dlamini. Their fight was full of drama. At first it seemed trainer Elias Tshabalala's prediction of a second-round stoppage had been spot on when Dlamini stunned Bedeman with a stiff jab in the first round.
But Bedeman thanked his foe for bringing the fight straight to him and dropped him three times in three rounds before referee Isaac Tshabalala stopped the brutality one minute and 42 seconds into the third round. The fight was presented by Golden Gloves at Emperors Palace on June 19.
While Bedeman raised his KO ratio to 10 in 12 victories and two draws, Dlamini suffered his first stoppage in two defeats against six wins (5 KOs).
"There is still work to be done," Ferdandez said. "But he'll thrive on more regular action, hopefully against opponents who'll extend him further than Grant Fourie and Bongani Dlamini managed to do."
Tshabalala said: "He proved me wrong."