By Ron Jackson
John “Section 29” Bopape retained his South African middleweight title for the first time when he stopped the mandatory challenger Snamiso Ntuli from eMnambithi Ladysmith, KwaZulu/Natal, in the eighth round at the Multi-Purpose Hall in Soweto on Sunday.
The big punching 31-year-old Bopape (12-8, 11 KOs), who won the title with an eleventh-round stoppage win over Nkululeko “Bull Dog” Mhlongo from Eshowe in Bloemfontein on 29 April, was in control from the opening round. This was a return fight with Bopape winning on a third knockout in a non-title fight on 6 May 2018.
The 26-year-old Ntuli (6-5, 3 KOs) lasted longer the second time around but it was the strength and experience of the champion that prevailed in the end.