Johannesburg – East London-based Nkosinathi Joyi suffered a shock third round knockout defeat against unheralded Rey Loreto in a bout for the vacant IBO junior flyweight title, in Monte Carlo, on Saturday.
Joyi, a former IBF and IBO strawweight champion, had been handed a seemingly easy ride back to international title prominence against the Filipino who had lost 13 of his previous 30 fights during a spotty career.
Loreto, a journeyman boxer, was rated no higher than 30th by the IBO before Saturday's fight, with Joyi having been positioned as the number two contender.
But an apparently complacent Joyi was in trouble as early as the second round in the fight between two contrasting southpaws. Joyi seemed as though he had been hurt after a flurry of blows from Loreto at the end of the stanza.
Loreto then continued where he had left off in the third round, and dumped Joyi to the canvas in what could mark the end of his quest to regain a major boxing title.
The Joyi-Loreto fight was on the undercard of South African Rodney Berman's Golden Gloves Promotion in Monaco, which featured in the main bout unbeaten WBA and IBO middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin against American-based Ghanaian Osumanu Adama.
Kazakhstan-born Golovkin won his 29th bout in a row in an unblemished career and battered a gallant, but outclassed opponent to a seventh-round TKO defeat to further enhance a growing reputation.
Golovkin had won his last 15 fights via the knock-out route and Adama was on the canvas as early as the first round, going down again in the sixth and seventh rounds before the referee declared he had suffered enough punishment.
Also on the programme, the DRC's explosive, South African-based cruiserweight, Junior Makabu, knocked out 39 year-old Argentinian veteran Ruben Angel Mino, who was unbeaten in 20 fights, but had never come up against anyone of Makabu's power punching in his low-key career.
The immobile Mino looked as though he did not belong in the same ring as the bruising Makabu in a glaring mismatch.
Joyi's objective was to get back into the forefront as a junior flyweight similar to that he enjoyed as a strawweight when he was widely considered number two in the world in the division.
On the evidence of Saturday's fight against Loreto he is now back to square one - if indeed he decides to continue a distinguished career in which he has only been beaten three times in 27 bouts. – Sapa