Zolani Marali © Gallo Images
Zolani Marali outboxed Mzolisi Yoyo to retain his WBF junior welterweight title at the Orient Theatre in East London on Sunday.
The champion was just too fast and slick for Yoyo and beat him by large margins. Judge Rassie Erasmus scored it 117-111 and Lulama Mtya and Allen Matakane had 119-112 and 119-110.
The battle between the two 36-year-old veterans was off to a slow start, but Marali, who was making his first defence, picked up the pace in the sixth round.
Using his southpaw jab effectively, he dominated the fight from rounds seven to eleven. Yoyo, the SA junior welterweight champion, had no answer to the champion's slick boxing.
Knowing he was well ahead, Marali began showboating in the final round and was warned by referee Darryl Ribbink, who handled the bout well. He had to warn both fighters at times for foul tactics.
After a slow start Marali (62.50kg) picked up the pace in round six and using his southpaw right jab effectively, he began to dominate the fight through rounds seven to eleven as Yoyo (63.50kg) the South African junior welterweight champion had no answer to slick moves of the defending champion.
Marali weighed 62.50 kg and improved his record to 23-5, with 13 victories inside the distance. Yoyo came in at 63.50 kg and his record dropped to 21-5; 16.
NDONGENI RETAINS SA TITLE
In one of the poorest SA title fights in recent years, Xolani Ndongeni retained his national junior lightweight belt when he beat Themba Tschicila by majority decision over 12 rounds.
Simphiwo Mbina and Phumeza Zinakale scored the bout 118-110 and 115-113 but Vabaza Booi had it a surprising 114-114.
Ndongeni, who weighed 58.80 kg, took his record to 11-0, with 6 wins inside the distance. Tschicila (58.30 kg) dropped to 25-11-2; 7.
Both fighters spent most of the time swinging wildly, punching from too far out, holding, pushing and stumbling around the ring. The 37-year-old Tschicila, a southpaw, tired badly did well to finish the fight on his feet against the 23-year-old champion.
The referee was Allen Matkane and the tournament was presented by Ayanda Matiti of Xaba Boxing Promotions.