Ndlovu wins but Chauke shows guts

Bongani Magasela

Boxing was the ultimate winner last Friday after 12 rounds of a fistic gem between Takalani "The Panther" Ndlovu and Oscar "Golden Boy" Chauke.

These combatants whose corners were masterminded by sworn enemies, Nick Durandt and Manny Fernandez respectively, had some 300 fight enthusiasts inside Graceland Casino on the edge of their seats.

Clearly Durandt and Fernandez had successfully transferred their own antagonism to their charges, but Ndlovu from Meadowlands and the Gauteng based Chauke from Thohoyandou still displayed artistry.

No sports writer could possibly retell those 12 clean-fought but brutal rounds in mere words. World Sports Promotions, which staged this slug fest should have sent a poet.

This is already a contender for fight of the year. Judges scored it 116-113, 116-111 and 116-112 in favour of Ndlovu to be crowned WBF featherweight king.

This was his 29th win against three losses while Chauke, who forfeited his WBF junior featherweight belt to challenge Ndlovu in the featherweight class, suffered his third loss against 19 victories but he won the fans' hearts including Ndlovu's supporters.

He was outstanding.

Driven by self belief, bravery and superb conditioning, Chauke gave Ndlovu hell for eight rounds. Chauke beat Ndlovu to the punch, and he seemed to pack the heavier punch of the two.

He also fought a clever fight to expose Ndlovu's glaring mistake - moving his right hand backwards before throwing his jab.

Chauke boxed brilliantly behind his stabbing jab and kept his distance but later got carried away to stand toe-to-toe with Ndlovu in the ninth round.

Then Ndlovu, the master body killer, dug deep into Chauke's midsection turning the fight in his favour.

Other results:

Bantamweight (6 rds): Tendai Munyai beat Bongani Siwisa on points; Lightweight: Kyle Smith beat Fhulufelo Mudau tko 5; Welterweight: Boitshepo Mandawe beat Dinto Sloca tko in 7.