Thulani Mbenge teaches Chaves a hard lesson in IBO clash
Emerging knockout artist Thulani "Evolution" Mbenge bombed Diego Chaves in round seven to win the IBO welterweight belt at Emperors Palace on Saturday night.
Mbenge and Chaves exchanged leather in the main attraction of the Bombs Away tournament staged by Golden Gloves.
Mbenge has already held the SA, ABU and the WBC International belts in a career that began in 2015.
He landed a well-executed vicious right hand, sending Chaves down in round six, forcing the Argentine to try all the tricks in the book, including sinking his teeth in Mbenge's ribs, to no avail.
Instead Mbenge followed up in the seventh round by landing the same punch on the same spot and it was over. Mbenge, whose career is guided by trainer Sean Smith, improved to 11 knockouts in 14 wins.
Mbenge's stablemate Thabiso "The Rock" Mchunu made a successful return to the ring by scoring a sixth-round stoppage win over Latvia's Ricards Bolotniks.
After a slow start, the left-handed Mchunu corked with a lightning-bolt right uppercut to the jaw. It lifted Bolotniks off the ground before he landed on the canvass.
However, he beat the mandatory eight count of referee Simon Mokadi. That turned out like waving a red rag to the bull as Mchunu rushed in and flurried combinations that sent Bolotniks to the floor for the second time. Mokadi aptly intervened, confirming Mchunu's 12th stoppage in 19 wins against four losses.
Earlier in the evening, Rowan Campbell continued to progress as a fighter. His eighth-round 1:41 seconds stoppage of Malkhaz Sujashvili was a solid performance. Campbell improved to seven wins, six via a short route.
But he had a real opponent before him and had to work for his victory.
Campbell will now oppose Renson "Bagdad" Hobyane for the vacant SA super middleweight title in a Golden Gloves tournament on August 10.
In other results, Ayabonga Sonjica floored Tumelo Mantsane in round one of their junior featherweight bout. In the middleweight, Wade Groth outpointed Andile Mntungwa over six rounds.
Also on Saturday, UK's Ohara Davies knocked out SA-based Paul Kamanga in the second round to win the WBC International Silver junior welterweight title in London's O2 Arena.