Zamora sings SA praises

AMERICAN boxing mentor Danny Zamora has given South Africans a thumbs up for a cordial treatment given to him and his charge Yohnny Perez last month.

AMERICAN boxing mentor Danny Zamora has given South Africans a thumbs up for a cordial treatment given to him and his charge Yohnny Perez last month.

Zamora masterminded Silence Mabuza's defeat on 12th-round technical knockout, by Perez at Springs Indoor Arena on May 31.

Their fight, presented by Branco Milenkovic and Jacob Matlala promotions, in Mabuza' home town, was for the number one spot in the IBF's bantam weight division.

"It all began on our arrival, around Sandton Mall and the Village Walk where we stayed. It felt like home," he said.

Zamora said it was his charge's first fight outside America. Perez, a Colombian, turned professional in the US in 2005.

"We were worried because we heard a bunch of stories about robbery of tourist there. But we knew that promoter Branco Milenkovic was not going to put us somewhere that was dangerous.

"South Africans treated us so good I wish I could come over there for the soccer World Cup next year. Many people will find out for themselves how beautiful and enjoyable South Africa is.

"You know, when you get treated so good, you feel obliged to return the favour. Hopefully your newspaper will spread the message across."

About 2500 people attended the fight.

They were vociferous in their motivation for Mabuza to win.

Victory was imminent until the "African Spice" got caught with a sucker punch that deposited him on the canvas.

Mabuza got up but his legs were like those of a newly born calf. Perez helped him down again, and American referee Kenny Chevalier intervened with one minute and six seconds into the round.

A deafening silence descended on the venue. You could hear a needle drop.

That was Mabuza's first defeat in a local ring. His other two defeats were in America both against Rafael Marquez. Mabuza has 22 wins, only five outside South Africa.

"He is a warrior and should walk tall," said Zamora in his parting shot.

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