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Unfancied foe makes Lamati sweat

Underdog Mchanjo impressed in defeat

Ludumo Lamati digs uppercut againts Haidari Mchanjo.
Ludumo Lamati digs uppercut againts Haidari Mchanjo.
Image: Supplied

Fight fans tend to pay too much attention to their own expectation from a particular fighter and ignore the keenness of the opponent which requires a prompt adjustment which may somehow suit the unfancied boxer but still get beaten in his own game.

It is even worse when the favoured fighter fails to put his opponent on his pants. This happens a lot when the dark horse is perceived to be a journeyman based on his or her resumé.

In truth, the power of a top athlete can ascend vertiginously especially after firing from all cylinders but only fail to drop the opponent. It can also decline precipitously due to the fact that all punches land with ease because that gives that fighter a sense of contentment.

It happened on Sunday with hot favourite Ludumo Lamati – a former IBO junior-featherweight – whose ability has deservedly earned him a top 10 rating by the WBC.

He met little-known Haidari Mchanjo, the pocket-sized Tanzanian who lost to Rofhiwa Maemu and Lerato Dlamini in the past. Maemu was s steamroller with little skills but a tank full of gas back in the day while Dlamini is a class act with power. That is why he is rated at No 4 by the WBC in the featherweight division.

Expectations were that Lamati would brush Mchanjo aside. But Lamati is no one-punch banger. He wears opponents down and ends up winning most of his contests by technical knockouts. He has dropped clean only two opponents in his 10 short-route wins in 18 victories.

He threw every punch in the book and scored with ease. But Mchanjo came fully prepared for war and somehow – based on his behaviour during their 10 rounder – he knew that Lamati will not harm him.

The only part Mchanjo did not feel comfortable when hit at was his midsection. But Lamati did not draw power from the hip when he dug those body shots. That robbed him of a potential stoppage in their impressive fight which had a big crowd at Booysens Gym on the edge of their seats.

It could be that Lamati does not punch correctly. But, still, he is a class act who deserves all the praises for adjusting promptly. The scores were 100-90 (twice) and 97-92 with Lamati walking away with a unanimous points victory and the WBC Ubuntu belt.

Earlier in BRD Promotion’s card which attracted heavyweights on the sporting front, including soccer boss Jomo Sono, newcomers Akani Sambo and Sinenkosi Mlotshwa were outstanding. Back in the day such a display of pure artistry earned fighters extra cash from the fans who rained in coins inside the ring at the end of the fight.

Sambo and Mlotshwa showed why boxing is called sweet science. Their topsy-turvy six rounder was declared a draw. Their future is bright.

Wade Groth and Dido Mukanya deserve a 30-days suspension which may come by way of the punishment index. They hurt each so badly but in the end Groth’s arms were raised in triumph.

Other results:

Khumo Wabile and Sikhumbuzo Junior Mahlangu draw 4 rounds

Ntokozo Msibi and Vuyo Maphosa draw 4 rounds

Jonathan Sam beat Sven Eggers points 4 rounds

Mawambe Mbusi beat Abel Ndava tko 5

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