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Boxing | South Africa

Thulani Mbenge © Gallo Images

Mbenge wins vacant IBO belt



Without his customary dreadlocks, a confident looking Thulani Mbenge of South Africa came into the ring and gave a polished performance as he stopped Diego Gabriel Chaves from Argentina to win the vacant IBO welterweight belt at Emperors Palace near Kempton Park on Saturday night.

The 32-year-old Chavez (66.20kg) who is listed at No. 28 in the most recent IBO ratings came out fast in the opening round throwing lefts and rights to his much taller opponent and did enough to possibly shade the round.

Mbenge, 26, showing maturity beyond his short spell in the professional ranks let the older and vastly more experienced Chaves come forward throwing lefts and rights to the body through rounds two to five.

As the fight went on into the fifth round, both fighters began to miss badly as they threw wild punches. Towards the end of the round, Chaves began to tire badly.

In round six the more confident Mbenge began to control the exchanges and dropped Chaves with a right to the jaw for a count.

Early in round seven Mbenge sent Chaves down flat on his face with another big right hand and referee Deon Dwarte who once again did a competent job picked up the count, but realising that Chaves was badly hurt waved the fight off at 36 seconds into the round just as the towel was thrown into the ring by Chaves' corner.

Mbenge improved his record 14-9; 11 and Chaves’ record dropped 26-4-1; 22.

MCHUNU WINS IN SIX

South Africa’s Thabiso Mchunu (90.40kg) smashed a rather inept Ricards Bolotnik (89.40kg) to defeat in 2 minutes 22 seconds in the sixth round.

After a quiet opening round the much smaller Mchunu 19-4; 12 did most of the work as Bolotnik from Latvia did nothing more than walk forward with his gloves against his face, pushing, holding and mauling through rounds two to five.

In the sixth round, a big left hand from the southpaw Mchunu dropped Bolotnik 11-5-1; 5 on the deck. He managed to beat the count but shortly after, a barrage of rights and lefts from Mchunu and a chopping blow to the back of the head sent Boltnik down again as referee Simon Mokadi stepped in to wave the fight off.

OTHER RESULTS

Junior featherweight: Ayabonga Sonjika, W ko 1, Tumelo Maksane; Middleweight: Wade Groth, won pts 6, Andile Mntungwa; Super-middleweight: Rowan Campbell, W tko 8, Malkhaz Sujashvili, tko 8.

The tournament was presented by Rodney Berman of Golden Gloves Promotions.



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