By Ron Jackson
South African heavyweight champion Ruann Visser stopped two-fight novice Luke Sutherland in the in the sixth round of scheduled eight at the Time Square Arena in Pretoria on Sunday afternoon.
Visser (118,20kg) used his long left to keep the much smaller Sutherland (101.35kg) on the outside, but made hard work of it against his limited opponent. Sutherland came out aggressively in the first round hoping to catch the champion, but every time he moved in close Visser held on until they were separated by the referee.
Visser was rather ponderous and never landed any telling punches until the fifth round when he caught Sutherland with a left and right combination followed by light left to the jaw that sent him down. The gutsy Sutherland beat the count but went down again midway through the sixth round from a left to the jaw, as referee Ben Ncapayi stepped to wave the fight off at 1 minute 29 seconds into the round.
Visser needs to regroup and turn his jab into a damaging punch and use his height and reach if he meets better opposition. Visser improved his record to 14-1, 13 KOs, and Sutherland’s record dropped to 2-1, 1 KO.
The tournament was presented by Jani Hebler of 5th Element Promotions.
Other results: Kaizer Fokasa draw 4 Ephraim Mkatshwa – junior-lightweight; Ayabonga Sonjica W tko 3 Nasiphe Ndlangaza – junior-featherweight; Denyss Lasarev W tko 2 Onke Duku – welterweight; Josh Pretorius W tko 1 Nhlanganipho Gwamanda – heavyweight; Chris Thompson W tko 2 Didier Nyembwe – junior heavyweight; Vladyslav Baranov W pts 6 Clement Kamanga – junior welterweight.
VAN ROOYEN RELINQUISES SA TITLE
It has been announced that Barend van Rooyen has relinquished his South African middleweight title. On August 10 this year at Emperors Palace near Kempton Park Wayne Groth (7-0,5 KOs) stopped Wynand Mulder in a bout advertised as for the interim South African middleweight title.
Last Sunday also at Emperors Palace, Groth was presented with the Boxing SA middleweight championship belt. So one must assume that he has now been elevated to the full champion. However, it is interesting to note that there is no provision in the South African Boxing Act for an interim champion or the elevation to a full champion.