Scores mislead in close title fight
Judges Lulama Mtya and Eddie Pappoe must have been smoking their socks if their scoring of the IBO mini flyweight bout between champion Simpiwe Konkco and Nkosinathi Joyi is anything to go by.
Their cards suggested a complete whitewash when it was a closely contested fight. Although Mtya and Pappoe voted for the deserving winner, scoring the fight 119-111 and 118-112 for Konkco, their margins were questionable.
Alan Matakane scored the fight on Sunday at East London's Orient Theatre reasonably - 116-113 .
Trainer Lennox Mpulampula was equally puzzled by the scoring.
"We did not win the fight," said Mpulampula yesterday.
"Joyi did not do as expected while Konkco also did not come out the way I know him to be as this aggressive fighter.
"He boxed very well - throw and move - but the two judges' scorecards were definitely off the mark.
"Joyi will soldier on. Remember, it was way back in 2013 that we fought in the mini flyweights."
There were no knockdowns to suggest wider margins.
It was a question of cleaner shots towards the end because that is when the 30-year-old champion looked fresher while Joyi, 33, seemed to be running out of gas.
Konkco - whose corner was manned by Colin Nathan and Vusi Mtolo - registered the first defence of the belt he won in June.
Konkco, from Mthatha, bettered his record to 17 wins from 22 bouts, while Mdantsane-born Joyi dropped to five losses in 32 bouts.
The fight lived up to the status as the main contest of a bill staged in honour of accomplished trainer and manager Mzimasi Mnguni, whose poor health has confined him to a wheelchair.
Mnguni, 67, was a ringside guest of the tournament staged by his bosom friend, promoter Rodney Berman.
"I am happy that people enjoyed this tournament. I was watching them singing and dancing," Mnguni told Sowetan yesterday.
Fans came in big numbers, including Eastern Cape MEC for sport Pemmy Majodina, Boxing SA chairwoman Ntambi Ravele and chief executive Tsholofelo Lejaka.
"I also want to thank Rodney for what he did for me."
In earlier bouts, SA super middleweight champion Lee Dyer pummelled Giovanni Bushby into submission over eight rounds to win the ABU belt, while Aphiwe Masanganya won the Eastern Cape featherweight belt from Lwandisa Zinto.