'Bulldog' steps up a weight division with two new titles

SA junior-middleweight champion Nkululeko Mhlongo jolts the head of Walter Dlamini en route to a fourth-round stoppage to win both the SA and WBA Pan African middleweight belts in the Sun Arena in Pretoria on Sunday.
SA junior-middleweight champion Nkululeko Mhlongo jolts the head of Walter Dlamini en route to a fourth-round stoppage to win both the SA and WBA Pan African middleweight belts in the Sun Arena in Pretoria on Sunday.
Image: Nick Lourens

History was made in the Sun Arena at Time Square in Pretoria, when current South African junior middleweight boxing champion Nkululeko "Bulldog" Mhlongo won his second domestic title - the middleweight strap - with a fourth-round stoppage from defending reigning champion Walter "Black Mamba" Dlamini on Sunday.

Mhlongo, from Eshowe in KwaZulu-Natal, also took home the WBA Pan African belt. Mhlongo, who was ushered to battle by trainer Vusi Mtolo, remains the only national champion from KZN.

Dlamini, who was the only national champion currently from Limpopo, was saved from total destruction by _competent referee Simon Mokadi.

Dlamini won the first two rounds easily but Mhlongo - a natural slow starter - turned the tables in round three.

Dlamini was saved by the bell. A revved-up Mhlongo pressed the action, jolting Dlamini's head with left and right hooks, prompting Mokadi to rescue him.

"Winning a new belt in another division makes me very happy because I made history," said Mhlongo.

"I am going to defend this title and move up to super middleweight where I intend to win my third belt."

Mtolo said: "This is my first SA championship and I know there are more coming. I am not shocked by what has happened. I expected it; we studied Dlamini.

"If Mhlongo can bulk up muscles, then we will move up to super middleweight and win another title which is held by Rowan Campbell."

Dlamini's stablemate Smangele "Smash" Hadebe lived up to her moniker by smashing Thema Zuma in round four while Thabiso Mchunu defeated Wilberforce Shihepo by a TKO3.

Other results (both 4 rounds):

Junior lightweight: Anthony Grobler beat Ramsy Hlungwana on points

Junior middleweight: Shevontaigh Koopman beat Wandile Ndlela on points

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