Joyi passes tough test to retain his title

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

People around the world could have wished South Africa luck that Nelson Mandela lived until his country celebrated his God-given wisdom by staging a successful soccer World Cup in 2010 with him on the grandstand.

Television programmes here were rescheduled last Friday night due to Nelson Mandela's 90th Birthday Concert in London which attracted a glittering line-up of superstars. His actual birthday is on July 18.

SABC 2, which broadcasts live boxing on Blow by Blow at 9pm, televised the proceedings in London - thus forcing an understood blackout on what a young Madiba, Nkosinathi Joyi (he belongs to that clan) - was facing at the same time inside the Orient Theatre in East London.

His International Boxing Organisation (IBO) mini-flyweight title was at stake against Mexican Sammy "Guty" Gutierrez.

Siyolo Dabula, a retired professional boxer who worked tirelessly in getting Gutierrez here, said the Mexican dropped Joyi with a body punch in the fifth round.

He said that was like dousing fire with fuel because Joyi fought back to a seventh-round stoppage to register his 14th stoppage from 18 wins.

It was Gutierrez's first stoppage in three defeats against 20 wins (12 knockouts).

"It was Joyi's toughest test. At one stage I felt like he was overmatched. But as the saying goes, if you want to be the greatest, beat the greats," said Dabula.

"He proved that he was ready to mix it with champions of other world recognised bodies while still young and marketable and, most importantly, make money."

Joyi, 25, from Mdantsane, is trained by Boyboy Mpulampula and managed by S'Phatho Handi.

Meanwhile, Dabula announced that Joyi's stablemate Samora Msophi is in a stable condition at Cecilia Makiwane Hospital after undergoing surgery to remove a blood clot in his brain.

He was beaten by Mfundo Gwayana for the SA junior flyweight title.