By Ron Jackson
In a toe-toe toe gruelling encounter South Africa’s Ludumo Lamati only just survived the last two rounds against Mexico’s Jose Martin Estrada Garcia to win the vacant IBO junior featherweight belt, on a majority 12 rounds points decision at Emperors Palace on Saturday night.
Judges Simon Mokadi and Phumeza Zinakile scored it 115-113 and 116-12 in favor of Lamati and Judge Patrick Mukondwa had it 114-114.
In what must be a strong contender for the South African Fight of the Year, Lamati (55.30kg) made a good start through the first four rounds in in a war with neither fighter backing off and the South African possibly just doing enough to shade the rounds.
The toe-toe action continued throughout rounds five to eight with Lamati appearing the stronger.
However, the fast pace started to catch up with him in rounds nine and ten as he slowed down and in the eleventh and twelfth rounds he resorted to holding and mauling as Garcia (54.30kg) tried his best to end the fight and the South African was fortunate not to receive more warnings from referee Deon Dwarte.
Both fighters must be congratulated on their fitness and determination in what was an absorbing battle of survival.
Lamati who became the fifth South African to currently hold a world title improved his record to 18-0-1; 10 and Garcia’s record dropped to 12-2-1; 6.
THULANI MBENGE STOPS JABULANI MAKHENSE IN THE THIRD ROUND
Former IBO welterweight champion Thulani Mbenge (66.40kg) who holds the South African and African Boxing Union titles won the WBA Pan African welterweight title when he stopped defending champion Jabulani Makhense in the third round.
The time was 2 minutes 43 seconds.
Mbenge 18-1; 14 whose African Boxing Union title was also on the line proved to strong and experienced for the previously unbeaten Makhense whose record dropped to 11-1; 5.
BRANDON THYSSE WINS ON TENTH ROUND KNOCKOUT
In an International junior middleweight bout South Africa’s Brandon Thysse (69.60kg) knocked out Tom Silvennoinen (69.70kg) from Finland at one minute into the tenth round.
ROARKE KNAPP OUTCLASSES BENOIT MANKANGILA
In an impressive performance, South Africa’s Roarke Knapp (69.60kg) stopped previously unbeaten Benoit Makangila Vela (68.60kg) in the second round.
Knapp stunned Vela from the Democratic Republic of the Congo with some big shots just before the bell in the second round, and his corner indicated he was not coming out for the third round.
JOHNNY MULLER RETAINS WBA PAN AFRICAN TITLE
In a return match Johnny Muller (90.30kg) retained the WBA Pan African cruiserweight title on a ten round split decision over Akani Phuzi (90.70kg).
The scores were 97-93 twice for Muller and 96-94 for Phuzi.
RESULTS FROM THE AFTERNOON TOURNAMENT AT THE SAME VENUE
Middleweights: Phikelelani Khumalo beat Chris Gouws, pts 4.
Middleweights: Nelson Mbhele beat Tando Mali, pts 4.
Heavyweight: Wilhelm Nebe beat Jean Pierre Steenkamp, ko 1 – 68 seconds.
Junior middleweight: Shervontaigh Koopman beat Jaques Muvud, pts 6.
Both tournaments were presented by Golden Gloves Promotions.