Knockouts make boxing exciting

Michael Mokoena, left, defeated SA lightweight champion Thompson Mokwana in round six, in Springs, on Sunday./ Nick Lourens
Michael Mokoena, left, defeated SA lightweight champion Thompson Mokwana in round six, in Springs, on Sunday./ Nick Lourens

History in local professional boxing was made on March 10 last year when Michael Mokoena and Thomson Mokwana dropped each to the canvas in the third round of their fight at KwaThema Community Hall in Springs.

Well-aimed and superbly executed vicious left hooks landed flush on their jaws and the two gladiators hit the deck. The crowd went berserk with excitement.

They had not seen such before except for those who watched the second of the many Rocky movies.

Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) and Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) hit each other with succession of left hooks and they both went down in the 15th round. Referee Loui Fillip exercised his 10 count while the exhausted and battered fighters struggle to get back up.

Creed fell back down while Balboa was able to get back up beat the 10 count to win the rematch with a KO and become the world champion.

In the Mokoena-Mokwana fight, referee Simon Mokadi held his own and counted for both fighters.

The boxers got up before he reached the full count of 10 and continued with their fight. But Mokoena eventually stopped Mokwana in the sixth round.

That fight deserves the nomination for 2019 Boxing SA's Knockout of the Year award. Knockouts are what makes the sport of boxing so dramatic and unique.

Zolani Tete won it last year for poleaxing Siboniso Gonya in 11 seconds to retain his WBO bantamweight belt.

Boxing SA describes the KO as a strike or combination that sends the opponent to the canvas, rendering him/her unable to continue fighting.

While any pugilist can attain a knockout, the defining factor is the impeccable excellence and athleticism through which the nominee in this category executes and achieves the knockout.

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