Kalombo floors all his critics
Boxing is full of surprises. Just when you think you understand it, it comes with its own amazements.
The general fight public described the match-up between battle-marked veteran Nkululeko "Bull Dog" Mhlongo and greenhorn Emmany "The General" Kalombo as a mismatch that should not have been sanctioned.
What informed that conclusion was the poor quality of opponents Kalombo had fought before.
Despite having won his eight bouts with knockouts, Kalombo had not fought beyond five rounds.
When promoter Andre Thysse announced that Kalombo would oppose Mhlongo - a veteran of 21 bouts, some people felt that Thysse must have taken one too many blows during his time as a boxer.
Thysse - who was BSA's promoter of 2016 - had such confidence in Kalombo he accepted a bet of R50000 against Mhlongo's promoter Lebo Mahoko that Kalombo would do a number on Mhlongo.
Guess what? Thysse walked away with the money after Kalombo sent Mhlongo tumbling to the canvas in round five to win the vacant WBF intercontinental junior middleweight title at Edenvale Community Centre on Friday.
A well-executed over-arm right to the jaw ended all the noise.
Referee Eddy Marshall, who blundered badly by ruling a legitimate knockdown for Mhlongo on Kalombo as a slip in the first round, reached the full count of 10 while Mhlongo was still trying to get up.
Mhlongo has been around since 2007. He suffered his first KO loss in six defeats against 16 wins.
Kalombo made his professional debut under Nick Durandt in 2015, and Damien Durandt took over when his father passed on last year.
"No one believed me when I said Kalombo will knock Mhlongo clean out. The same goes for Jackson Chauke," said Damien.
"I said he will take Sihle Jelwane to school, and some people thought I was dreaming. Maybe, yes, but my dreams have come through."
Said Thysse: "I knew that once Kalombo lands clean, it will be over. I am happy for our promotions, Damien and also the boxers because this is all about them."