Boxing - Zack Mwekassa stopped
What a fight! Danie Venter knocked out strongman Zack Mwekassa in the fourth round of a cruiserweight war at Emperors Palace on Saturday night.
Mwekassa, the top seed of the Super 8 cruiserweight competition, finally landed a couple of big right hands in the second round, and suddenly Venter, backed up on the ropes, looked as if he was in trouble.
But he unleashed a beautiful right-left combination that decked Mwekassa against the run of play. The Democratic Republic of Congo fighter beat the count, survived the round and then came back at Venter, who started fighting instead of boxing.
And then all hell broke loose in the fourth.
The pair traded unpleasantries until Venter landed the sweetest of left hooks - so sweet that Jan Bergman, one of the greatest proponents of the punch, joked: "I borrowed him my left hook."
Mwekassa crashed like an imploding building, but to his credit he got to his feet at the count of seven. He was on wobbly legs but referee Jaap van Niewenhuizen let him carry on, and Venter moved in and rained punches until he collapsed.
Venter will face Thabiso Mchunu in the "Last Man Standing" competition here on November 10.
Mchunu stopped Flo Simba in the first round to settle the supposed controversy of their first bout when many felt the referee had stopped it too early.
That was in the second round last time; last night referee Phillip Durandt ended it 2min 46sec into the first round, Simba's nose pouring with blood and his right eye nearly swollen shut. He hadn't hit the deck but, quite frankly, his lack of skill at this level was abundantly clear.
Simba, once touted by Golden Gloves as a future world heavyweight champion, must be put out to pasture now, so he can finish his studies and pursue a career as an engineer, where head blows are not part of the job description.
Earlier Sipho Taliwe dismantled and humiliated ageing Mzonke Fana at Emperors Palace last night to unofficially claim the title as best junior-lightweight in South Africa.
He dropped the former world champion twice en route to a unanimous points decision over a man who, at 39, travelled one bridge too far.
It's always a sad to see the old lion dethroned, but "Tsunami" Taliwe unnecessarily mocked and teased his outgunned opponent at times, either smiling at him childishly or taunting him to come in.
Larry Holmes showed Muhammad Ali respect in their 1980 mismatch, one year before Taliwe, now 31, was born.
Fana, who bloodied Taliwe's nose in the second round, was at his best in the fourth as he handed out a three-minute boxing lesson, but for the rest of this bout he lacked the speed and strength to trouble Tsunami.
He showed the true heart of a warrior by surviving to the 12th round, even trying to press the attack with his famous jab. Two of the judges had it 117-110, and the third a rather flattering 115-112.
Taliwe retained the WBC's b-grade international belt, once held by Fana before he won twice won the IBF crown.
Fana's record dropped to 31 wins and five losses while Taliwe's improved to 20 wins, two defeats and a draw.
In other bouts, Hekkie Budler retained his IBO title with a unanimous decision over Florante Condes, while Ryno Liebenberg stopped Johnny Muller in the ninth round of a clumsy light-heavyweight contest.