By Ron Jackson
In an outstanding performance, South Africa’s Nkosinathi Joyi from Mdantsane in the Eastern Cape completely out-thought and outboxed Filipino Joey Canoy to win the vacant IBO minimumweight belt on a unanimous 12 round points decision at the International Convention Centre in East London on Monday afternoon.
Judges David Parras (England) and Roger Barnor (Ghana) scored the fight 119-109 and 117-111 and the third judge John Rupert (USA) handed in a card of 117-112.
In a battle of southpaws the 36-year-old Joyi (29-5-1, 19 KOs) took control from the opening round after the shorter Canoy (15-4-1, 8 KOs) was warned by referee Allan Matakane for a head butt.
Through the first ten rounds, boxing from behind his right jab Joyi literally boxed the head off the 26-year-old Canoy, who never got into the fight until the last two rounds when the veteran South African began to slow down.
This was a great victory for Joyi in a poor year for South African boxing on the world scene.
However, one must question the validity of the fight for a vacant title when Joyi is rated at No. 20 in the junior flyweight division and Canoy at No. 20 in the minimumweight class, in the latest IBO rankings.
South African minimumweight champion Sibusiso Bandla from Mdantsane lost his title to fellow southpaw Siyakholwa Kuse also from Mdantsane, when referee Siya Vabaza-Booi stopped the fight at 2 minute 19 seconds into the fifth round.
The unused judges were Sheshe Dungwa, Sithembile Tom and Mandisi Mkile.
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In a clash for vacant WBO Africa junior middleweight title Emmany Kalombo from the DRC scored his 14th straight inside the distance win when he stopped Daniel Larty of Ghana at 2 minutes 12 seconds into the seventh round.
Larty and his corner protested vigorously at the stoppage by referee Deon Dwarte, but their man was far behind and being punished.
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Fernando Daniel Martinez from Argentina proved too strong for WBC Silver junior bantamweight champion, southpaw Athenkosi Dumezweni of South Africa, when the referee waved the fight off in the eleventh round.
Time was 23 seconds into the round.
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The main bout between South Africa’s Gideon Buthelezi, who was scheduled to defend his IBO junior bantamweight belt for the sixth time against Alexandru Marin of Romania, was cancelled when Marin failed to make the weight and decided against an overweight match.
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The tournament was presented by Xaba Promotions.