Gauteng boxers pulverise their opponents

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Eastern Cape fight fans at the Orient Theatre went back home with their tails between their legs on Friday night when all three of their idols were defeated by their foes from Gauteng.

Mpumelelo Mbedle, Themba Tshicila and Sizwe Sinyabi, who enjoyed territorial advantage in the boxing crazy Eastern Cape, were defeated by Godfrey Nzimande, Jeffrey Mathebula and Phumzile Matyhila, respectively.

Nzimande stopped Mbedle in the 10th round for the vacant South African junior lightweight title while Mathebula registered a 10th round TKO win over Tshicila to retain the WBC International featherweight belt.

Mathyila won the vacant WBC International junior flyweight belt. The Mdantsane- born fighter, who fights out of Gauteng, registered a lop sided points win over Sinyabi.

The three scorecards read 119-110, 118-110 and 119-109. Sowetan's unofficial score was 120-108.

Matyhila also retained his unblemished record to 15 wins in as many fights while Sinyabi, the former SA champion, suffered his eighth defeat from 27 fights.

Mbedle promised locals that he would make sure that the SA title remained in the Eastern Cape. It was held by that province's fighter Ali Funeka for four years.

He lost it in the board room a month ago for disregarding rules and regulations. He was mandated by Boxing SA to defend it against Nzimande in April but Funeka opted to defend his WBC International title against Ghanaian Yakubi Amidu.

But Mbedle did not seem ready physically. He was also ring rusty. His last fight was in May last year. He did well in the first four rounds while Nzimande was either too anxious for a knockdown or nervous of fighting outside home.

A supremely fit Nzimande, who looked like his body was carved from stone, found his footing in the fifth round. He was cut badly above his left eye after an accidental clash of heads in the ninth round.

He fought like a man possessed after that incident and dropped Mbedle who was saved by the bell. Sensing victory Nzimande launched a total onslaught in the 10th and dropped Mbedle again.

The latter got up but came under a barrage of blows and his cornermen realised that he was unable to defend himself and threw in the towel.

Mathebula was too slick for Tshicila but could only stop him in the 10th round.