Discontent and mumblings by spectators greeted the premature end of Hawk Makepula's junior bantamweight clash against Lunga "Mad Dog" Ntontela at Orient Theatre on Saturday night.

The fight was halted in the third round by referee Eddie Marshall after Makepula's flurries had driven Ntontela to the ropes.

But Ntontela was still very much in the fight as he kept his guards up.

The end came when Makepula caught Ntontela with big counter-right as Mad Dog surged forward.

The eagerly-awaited clash which had been preceded by numerous out-of-the ring incidents, was fought at a blistering pace.

The entrance of the two fighters was dramatic with the hall reverberating with deafening applause as Makepula enacted his trademark gospel singing entrance.

After the two fighters had been reminded of the instructions it was down to serious business with Ntontela taking the fight to Makepula, his right jab unsettling Hawk.

Makepula maintained a cool approach adopting a counter punching strategy.

The two fighters exchanged fierce punches in the centre of the ring but Ntontela appeared to be getting the better of the combat.

Mad Dog caught Makepula with a big right hook which reeled the Christian back to the ropes but Makepula recovered in time before Ntontela could launch a total onslaught.

As the third round began Makepula appeared to be warming up to the action as he forced Mad Dog to backpedal.

It was when Mad Dog fired back that Makepula' big right hook wobbled him and drove him to the ropes.

Aware that he had hurt his foe, Makepula launched a total attack with an avalanche of punches.

However very few of the punches landed as Ntontela kept ducking and covering up but not fighting back.

To the amusement of the packed hall, Marshall jumped in to wave the fight over.

Ntontela's defeat capped a dramatic unfolding of events in the days leading up to Saturday's fight.

The youngster dumped his trainer Menzi Nqodi a few days before the fight to join Welsh Mnguni.

As if that was not enough Ntontela could not manage to reduce the weight after several attempts on the scales on Friday, prompting him to forfeit 20 per cent of his purse money.

In another dramatic event, one of Ntontela's associates Joe Manyathi was arrested at the weigh-in on Friday for fraud.

He was however released on bail on Saturday to be present at the fight.

In another bout on Saturday, veteran Mdantsane fighter Ayanda Ramncwana failed in his bid to win the SA junior flyweight crown when he was outpointed by Vuyani Kheswa.

Ramncwana fought gallantly but could not match the youthfulness of Kheswa who was always a shade faster than him in exchanges.

In the final round Ramncwana was staggered by two big right hands and barely survived by holding. - Sapa