Gunther Kalunda celebrates after beating Brazil’s Jose Da Rocha to win the EFC interim welterweight title. Photo: EFC

CAPE TOWN - EFC fans got a treat on Saturday night as only one fight went the distance at the magical Sun City. Ironically, it was the main event that lasted a full championship five rounds.

A fight that has now put welterweight champion, Dricus du Plessis on notice after the DRC’s Gunther Kalunda (5-0) was crowned the EFC interim welterweight champion when he defeated Brazil’s Jose Da Rocha (9-5) in a gut-wrenching five-round war. “I don’t fight just for my country, I fight for all of Africa,” shouted an exhausted Kalunda, bringing the crowd to their feet.

Despite Da Rocha receiving major backing from bookmakers and fans across the globe, it was Kalunda who proved to be the dominant one on the night. Da Rocha, a technical and deceptively quick striker did not have enough in the tank to subdue an extremely powerful warrior as the Brazilian had seemed to gas out early at 1 130m above sea level.

Da Rocha had to survive a top heavy Kalunda for the majority of the fight as the DRC fighter landed points, it was in the fourth that Da Rocha found a second wind, threatening with superb strikes, but his rally was short lived.

Kalunda proved to have the bigger tank and his cardio was unmatched on the night as he doused any flames of threat from Da Rocha who just could not get into his game completely. The judges delivered a unanimous decision, crowning an incredible third EFC champion for the DRC.

In the co-main event, Jared Vanderaa delivered a smart fight when he attacked the legs of power puncher Elvis Moyo to defuse his giant fists. Constant kicks to the legs of the Zimbabwean-born artist forced him to change to orthodox and dropped some power in his attack. Not before long Vanderaa had taken full mount, pounding the head of Moyo before the ref called a stop to the bout in the first.

“I would like to fight in Cape Town in November, I am available,” says Vanderaa. “In fact, I will fight any where and anybody. I don’t care if it is the Abominable Snowman or Bigfoot, I’ll fight them all.”

The post-match reception was done in a good sport as the two warriors enjoyed and appreciated each other’s skillset, lifting each other’s hands in celebration. Following impressive showings against both former champion Andrew van Zyl and Moyo, it seems fitting now that Vanderaa gets his shot at double-champion Champion Dalcha, for the heavyweight title.

Pretoria News

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