Malinga stuns thai
BANGKOK - Grossly underrated fighter Vus'Umuzi "Marvelous" Malinga caused a major sensation in the Thai capital yesterday when he defied all odds by defeating highly rated Veeraphol Nakhonluang.
Malinga, a novice when compared to Nakhonluang, a veteran of 67 fights, ended the illustrious career of this former 14-time World Boxing Council (WBC) bantamweight champion.
Malinga, the WBC International champion, who was ushered to the ring by his trainer and father Jabulani Malinga, stopped Nakhonluang, 39, 36 seconds into the fourth round.
The victory was Malinga's 11th stoppage from 18 wins, two defeats and a draw.
It earned the left-handed former undefeated SA bantamweight champion from Katlehong the right to challenge Hozumi Hasegawa for the WBC belt.
Malinga's fight with Nakhonluang was a WBC title eliminator. Hasegawa won the WBC belt from Nakhonluang back in 2005.
Malinga's fight was attended by ambassador Douglas Gibson, who is representing South African in the "Land of Smile". The fight also attracted about 2 000 Thai fans who gained free entrance at the Bordindecha School Boxing Arena in Bangkluay, Nothanburi in Bangkok.
Malinga went straight into war from the outset. He took control of the center of the ring from the second round, forcing Nakhonluang, who is always an attacking fighter, to back-pedal.
A series of uppercuts in round three sent Nakhonluang down for the count in the third round. He was saved by the bell, but the writing was on the wall. Going for the fourth round it was merely a matter of time before he folded.
Smelling blood, Malinga went for broke. He brutalised the already vanquished Thai, who was unable to defend himself, and had to be rescued from total destruction by New Zealand referee Bruce McTavish.
The decision was greeted with deafening silence, shock and embarrassment by Thai fans.
Malinga's promoter Branco Milenkovic, who was at ringside, could not contain himself as he cried tears of joy.