By Ron Jackson
In an untidy affair, South Africa’s Yanga Sigqibo won on a 12 round unanimous points decision over Keywin Lara of Nicaragua to claim the vacant WBO Intercontinental-junior bantamweight title at a less than full Orient Theatre in East London on Friday night.
Judges Sithembile Tom (SA) and Timo Haikonda (Namibia) scored it 116-112 and 117-111 whilst judge Clifford Mbele (SA) had it 117-112.
The scores appeared rather wide in favor of the South African in a contest with both fighters pushing, holding and wrestling throughout and missing with wild swinging punches.
The 24-year-old Lara (51.16kg) continued to press forward against the taller Sigqibo (52.00kg) but was guilty of foul tactics on more than one occasion.
In round four he was warned by the referee Leslie Cross (SA) for hitting Sigqibo, 24, on the head after he had slipped to the canvas and for low blow in the eighth round.
Lara was also warned for butting and coming in low with his head in round twelve and had a point deducted.
Sigqibo improved his record to 12-1-1; 3 and Lara’s record dropped to 26-3-1; 9.
JOYI STOPS SEFORO IN SEVEN
After being inactive for two years former IBO and IBF minimumweight champion 35-year-old Nkosinathi Joyi r(48.60kg) returned action and was most impressive in scoring a seventh round knockout win over Mpho Seforo (48.70kg) to win the vacant WBO Africa junior-flyweight title.
NTLANTHLA TYIRHA WINS SA TITLE IN FOURTH FIGHT
In a battle of southpaws Ntlanthla Tyirha (48.80kg) who recently celebrated his 19th birthday won the South African junior-flyweight title in only his fourth fight when he smashed the defending champion 31-year-old Bongani Silila (48.90kg) to defeat in the third round.
A right to the jaw sent Silila down flat on his back where he was counted out by referee Simphiwe Mbini at 48 seconds into round three.
In a bout for the vacant WBO Africa junior-welterweight title Marios Matamba knocked out Siseko Mahleni in the fourth round. Time was 1 minute 20 seconds.
South Africa’s Athenkosi Dumezweni won the vacant IBO Continental junior-bantamweight title when he stopped Mexico’s Ulises Lara in the fourth round. Time was 2:54.