Serbians repel Buthelezi, Mashego

MTHOBISI "Destroyer" Buthelezi and Tshepo "De La Hoya" Mashego came back from Serbia empty-handed.

Buthelezi lost on points to Stefan Stevanovic for the IBF Youth welterweight title while Mashego was also outpointed by Nikola Stevanovic for the IBF Intercontinental junior middleweight title.

The fights took place at Sport Hall Banjica in Belgrade at the weekend. This was Buthelezi's first defeat. The 21-year-old from KwaZulu-Natal has 10 wins.

National champion Mashego, 28, suffered his 10th defeat against 18 wins. He has never won a fight outside South Africa. The Witbank-based boxer has been to Russia, Germany, France, Uganda and Australia.

Promoter Branco Milenkovic, who organised the bouts, said the losses were unfortunate.

"I was told that the (Buthelezi) fight was very close, with one or two points respectively (the difference) on the scorecards. He is only 21. It was important for him to test international waters."

Regarding Mashego, Milenkovic said: "It was a different story. He has been given all the opportunities and has always been unsuccessful. He will have to concentrate on the SA title forever."