By Lwazi Ndzobongo: Gideon Buthelezi retained his IBO Junior Bantamweight title against Lucas Fernandez via 12 round unanimous points decision at the ICC Hotel in East London on Friday night.
The judges scored the fight 117-111, 116-112, and 118-110.
Buthelezi controlled the fight throughout using his slick boxing skills and avoiding Fernandez’s big swings. A cut opened above Buthelezi’s right eye as early as the second round, controversially it is thought he had received it in the lead up to the fight.
Buthelezi was ever impressive, making Fernandez miss and punishing him for it. To his credit, Fernandez made a fight of it and never backed down, took the action to the champ making for an enjoyable fight, boxer versus puncher.
There was a moment of panic in the final seconds of the 12th and final round as Fernandez caught Buthelezi with a punch that rocked him and almost put him on his seat of his pants. Buthelezi was able to hold on and make it through the round. In a performance even the great Nelson Mandela would have been proud of, Buthelezi excited the crowd in the former president’s centenary celebrations.
Buthelezi improved to 21-5 (4) and Fernandez dropped to 12-1-1(9).
Yanga Sigqibo won the vacant WBC International Junior Bantamweight title by beating Rene Dacquell via split points decision over 12 rounds. The judges scored the fight 115-111, 109-117 and 114-112.
With reach and height advantage, Sigqibo failed to use those to his advantage and turned in a lackluster performance that you could argue he was lucky to get the win from the judges. He started round 1 well, boxing behind the jab and showing off his better boxing abilities. However early in round 2, he was caught by an overhand right on the temple that caused his gloves to touch the canvass, ruled a knock down as per the rule book, resulting in a standing eight count. This seemed to take him off his game plan and fought the rest of the fight seemingly scared to be nailed by another big punch.
Sigqibo was happy to land one two’s and then hold whilst Dacquell continued to swing wildly at times searching for the knock out punch. The holding became so bad that the referee deducted a point in the late rounds.
Sigqibo failed to impress and based on last nights performance, he will struggle to defend his title going forward.
Sigqibo improved to 11-1 (3) and Dacquell dropped to 20-8 (6).
vacant WBA Intercontinental Jnr Bantamweight Title: Ulises Lara w tko 3 Ntlantla Ngamntwini
Vacant IBF Welterweight Youth Title Uganda Nogogo w pts 10 Aziz Uliza