Ngema and Bhuti recreate The War
Memories of "The War" between ferocious puncher Marvin Hagler and lighting fast sweet science practitioner Thomas Hearns in 1985 came flooding back like it happened yesterday during the bout between Mfundisi "Pastor" Ngema and Bongani "Blade" Bhuti.
Hagler and Hearns stood toe-to-toe trading blows in the fight whose first round is considered as the best three minutes in middleweight boxing history.
At Imbizo Hall in Empangeni on Saturday, home town fighter Ngema's hand speed was reminiscent of Hearns, despite being on the back foot.
He rained punches on East Rand-based Bhuti just like Hearns had done to Hagler. Yet just like Hearns, Ngema - who was ushered to war by trainer Bernie Pailman - could not derail the human train that came right at him.
Hagler ended "The War" with a KO in round three.
Bhuti, whose corner was manned by Thami Mbonambi and Thulani Buthelezi, dropped Ngema in round five.
Their fight was declared a draw, a verdict that did not give a true reflection of what happened in the ring.
The fight was close but Bhuti was the aggressor, threw more effective punches and dictated terms.
He looked to have done enough to win and the bonus was the knockdown.
The bout formed part of the seven-fight bill that was supervised by Leas Andreasen.
The tournament was a first for Nokwanda Mbatha of Tono Promotions.
The main bout between Wade Groth from Gauteng and Dido Mukanya from Congo lived up to its status. Naude was eventually voted the winner by a split points decision
Trevor Ngonyama from Kagiso outpointed Siphamandla Ngubane from Chesterville over four rounds in the first bout while Ngubane's home boy Muzi Mvimbi pulverised Judah Sithole from Mpumalanga in three rounds.