Bopape takes surprise victory

John Bopape strikes a blow to Ricky Tshabalala in their bout on Saturday.
John Bopape strikes a blow to Ricky Tshabalala in their bout on Saturday.
Image: Nick Lourens

Just when John "Section 29" Bopape was dismissed as a "no hoper" after suffering a stoppage loss to two-fight novice Boyd Allen, he sprung a surprise, easily beating highly rated Ricky "Suga" Tshabalala in two rounds at John Barrable Hall in Benoni on Saturday.

Bopape bettered his record to seven wins against six losses. Bopape, guided by Bushy Mabele at Jersey Joe Gym in Alexandra, was seen as cannon fodder for Tshabalala, who was on the verge of challenging domestic middleweight champion Walter Dlamini.

The unexpected happened when Bopape pummelled Tshabalala into submission in one of the well-attended nine bout card of Punch Club Promotions.

Trainer Damien Durandt threw in the towel as his fighter absorbed blows, and Tshabalala's defeat could have ruined his dream of challenging Dlamini.

Johnny "Hurricane" Muller gave a spirited performance in his comeback fight after a two-year hiatus, outclassing Kizito Ruhamnye from Congo over eight one- sided rounds in the heavyweight class. The scores of 79-73 from all three judges reflected what happened inside the ring.

Muller had not fought since losing to Thabiso Mchunu for both the SA and ABU cruiserweight belts in 2017.

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