Mashego almost pays for indecision

ON TARGET: National junior middleweight champion Tshepo Mashego, left, exchanges blows with Karama Nyilawila at Nasrec Arena last Friday. Pic: Tsheko Kabasia. 21/08/2009. © Sowetan.
21/08/2009 : S A Junior Middle Weigth Champion Tshepo Mashego of Witbank in action against Karama Nyilawila of Tanzania. Tshepo won on points after ten rounds in Nasrec Sports Centre.
ON TARGET: National junior middleweight champion Tshepo Mashego, left, exchanges blows with Karama Nyilawila at Nasrec Arena last Friday. Pic: Tsheko Kabasia. 21/08/2009. © Sowetan. 21/08/2009 : S A Junior Middle Weigth Champion Tshepo Mashego of Witbank in action against Karama Nyilawila of Tanzania. Tshepo won on points after ten rounds in Nasrec Sports Centre.

TSHEPO "De la Hoya" Mashego has the skill and ability to live up to expectations of being named after a superstar whose popularity transcends boxing.

TSHEPO "De la Hoya" Mashego has the skill and ability to live up to expectations of being named after a superstar whose popularity transcends boxing.

Oscar de la Hoya is considered to be one of the best fighters in the world at any weight, pound-for-pound, and also the biggest non-heavyweight attraction and moneymaker at the gate, defeating 19 current or former world champions once or twice in the process.

Mashego is a natural boxer but a fighter eager to increase his profile by being more entertaining.

But he could not decide whether to be a boxer or a puncher against Karama Nyilawila at Nasrec Arena last Friday night. So he took turns doing both against the tough Tanzanian who looked far more accomplished than his 15 fights would suggest.

He gave Mashego a real scare, with worries that Mashego would fall victim to a sucker punch from Nyilawila, who showed power.

Mashego registered a comfortable decision. He prevailed unanimously 99-91 (twice) and 99-92 on the scorecards but these margins did not reflect the calibre of a fighter Nyilawila turned out to be, especially fighting with one eye from round six until the 10th. He showed huge heart while Mashego just did not show any hunger.

Meanwhile, the dramatic end in one minute and 34 seconds into the first round of the fight between Lwazi Mzolisa and whipped Godlife Mabitsela was precisely the reason why we watch boxing.

At the same time it was the reason why we must question our love of the sport. Mabitsela, who earned the nickname "S'bhedlela" (Hospital) after sending some of his opponents there, was knocked out of the ring. Referee Boitumelo Madiba reached the count of 20 while Mabitsela was still outside the square jungle.

He recovered though.

Other results of this Mpumalanga Promotions bill:

Lightweight 10 rounds: Patrick Masango beat Sifisi Msibi on points; Junior middleweight 8 rds: Page Tshesane bt Malibongwe Ndzube pts; Junior heavyweight 4 rds: Khayeni Hlongwane bt Ben Moakamela pts

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