mabasa sees stars

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

The lights went out in Westbury on Saturday night, seconds after the township's favourite boxer, Marcel "Lights Out" Japhta, did just that to Willie Mabasa from Limpopo.

Japhta blew Mabasa away two minutes and 31 seconds into the fourth round of their fight for the vacant Gauteng featherweight title, which was scheduled for 10 rounds.

Japhta had relinquished the title in July last year because no challengers came forward.

This twinkling star, whose ability is perfected by trainers Benny Pailman, Cliff Martins and Peter Faver at Westside Boxing Academy in Westbury, improved his record to 10 victories (7 KOs) against one defeat.

Mabasa, who fights out of Gauteng under Michele Castellan's gym, dropped to 14 losses against seven wins.

Mabasa started at a furious tempo, punishing Japhta with power punches in the first three rounds. But Japhta dug deep into Mabasa's midsection with energy-sapping blows.

Japhta, loudly cheered by the almost capacity crowd inside the 3000-seater hall at Westbury Recreation Centre, got fed up with being bullied in his own kraal.

With blood all over his face, he literally walked through Mabasa's punches in the beginning of the fourth round and connected with a straight right to the chin, staggering Mabasa. Sensing victory, he launched into a total onslaught.

Mabasa was unable to fight back and referee Alfred Buqwana stopped the brutality.

This fight topped the six-bout programme that was jointly presented by Peoples Promotions and Westside Boxing Academy.

Meanwhile Japhta's stable mate, Nkululeko "Bulldog" Mhlongo blew Johannes Pieterson away in two minutes and 50 seconds into the first round of their junior middleweight six-rounder.

Earlier on Fusani Monta registered a fourth-round stoppage over Ada Sixanti in their bloody junior flyweight fight.