‘The Rock’ Mchunu stands tall

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iol spt nov11 Mchunu Gallo Images Thabiso The Rock Mchunu was the Last Man Standing in Golden Gloves' Super Eight contest after dominating Danie Venter in the final at Emperors Palace.Photo by Duif du Toit / Gallo Images

Johannesburg – Thabiso “The Rock” Mchunu was the “Last Man Standing” in Golden Gloves' Super Eight contest after dominating Danie Venter in the final at Emperors Palace on Saturday night and securing an impressive fifth-round tko victory.

The 24-year-old KwaZulu-Natal prodigy gained the ascendancy from the outset while repeating a previous win over the 33-year-old Venter.

Two knockdowns heralded the end and although the beaten and bruised Venter staggered to his feet after being floored for a third time, the referee had no hesitation in terminating the procedure and awarding Mchunu the win.

Tommy Oosthuizen, despite a late scare at Friday's weigh-in when he needed two extra hours to shed 700 grams of extra weight or forfeit his title, out-fought 35-year-old Columbian veteran Fulgencio Zuniga in a bruising, all-action battle for the IBO super-middleweight title.

Although there was never much doubt that the talented South African would retain his title, with the judges' scorecards ruling in his favour by 120-108, 119-109 and 119-109 margins, Oosthuizen took a fair amount of punishment himself as well as handing out a stream of snappy combination punches.

Oosthuizen's hand speed was as impressive as ever, but somewhat sluggish leg movement and reactions made him a potentially inviting target at times for a boxer who has secured 15 knockout victories from his 25 winning contests and five defeats.

A former IBO champion himself, Zuniga has seen better days, but he gave a commendable and entertaining performance and earned the appreciative applause he received from the 3 000-strong crowd.

The Philippines' Edrin Dapudong broke into tears after South African Gideon Buthelezi gained a controversial, split-points decision over him in the other IBO title fight on the programme.

Dapudong's disappointment in not securing the vacant IBO junior bantamweight title was well justified, with Buthelezi on the canvas in the ninth round and seemingly heading for a knockout defeat.

Buthelezi held his own for the remainder of the fight, but overall Dapudong appeared to have done more than enough to secure the verdict.

Two of the judges instead gave the win to Buthelezi by 115-113

and 115-112 margins, with the third judge making it a more realistic 114-113 in Dapudong's favour.

Also, in a fight for the African Boxing Union's cruiserweight title, Ryno Liebenberg maintained a 10-fight unbeaten record by outclassing Zambian Donald Kampamba for five rounds before securing a ninth-round knockout victory. – Sapa


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