South Africa’s Rowan Campbell showed his true potential when he retained the International Boxing Organization (IBO) All-Africa super middleweight title with a seventh-round TKO victory over the DRC’s Patrick Mukala at Emperors Palace, Johannesburg, on Friday night.
Both fighters came out boxing cautiously in the opening round as they sparred for openings but in rounds two and three Campbell (75.40kg) closed the gap and began to find openings as he shaded the rounds.
Mukala (76.20kg) had a better round-four as he caught the champion with some jolting uppercuts, but the superbly-conditioned Campbell kept pressing forward.
Campbell continued to apply the pressure in round five but there was a lot of mauling and holding in the sixth-round as Mukala began to tire.
It was a confident Campbell who came out for the seventh-round as he continued to attack and after a series of blows to the head and body referee Tony Nyangiwe who did a good job, stepped in to stop the fight off at 2min 42sec into the round.
Campbell improved his record to 11-0; 7 and Mukala’s record dropped to 11-2-1; 10
In the main supporting bout South Africa’s Rourke Knapp, 21, kept his unbeaten record with a unanimous 10-round point decision over Aleksandr Zhuravskiy, 34, from Kazakhstan.
Judges David van Nieuwenhuizen and Simon Mokadi scored it 97-93 and 96-94 and the third judge Namhla Tyaluba had it 98-92.
In a poor fight which looked more like a sparring session both fighters who had high percentage knockout records were not prepared to take a chance and open up.
Ricardo Malajika 5-0; 1 was just too fast and slick for Layton Gloss 5-3;3 as he won on a fifth-round technical knockout to take the vacant Gauteng junior bantamweight title. The time was 1min 33sec.
In the opening bout of the evening, junior-lightweight Cayden Truter won on points over four rounds against Lopez Maluleke. The scores were 39-37 and 40-36 twice.
Junior middleweight Darrin Rossouw who was making his pro debut stopped fellow debutant Ramsy Hlongwani in the fourth round. The time was 2min 59sec.
The tournament was presented by Rodney Berman of Golden Gloves Promotions.
Mantengu and Sonjika to fight for SA title on undercard of International Boxing Federation bill in East London
The South African featherweight title fight between champion Innocent Mantengu and Ayabonga Sonjika will now feature on the undercard of the IBF junior lightweight title-eliminator between Azinga Fuzile and Russian Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov next month.
The tournament takes place at the Orient Theatre in East London on September 29.
Originally there had been a dispute between Rumble Africa Promotions, who support Sonjika, and Team Dida who back KZN’s Mantengu as to where the fight should take place – but that has now been settled.
The 28-year-old Mantengu 13-4-1; 5 won the vacant title in a return match against Thato Bonokoane on a highly- disputed split decision at the Memorial Centre in Kagiso on June 28 this year.
This was after their first bout for the vacant title ended in a draw after Boxing SA erred as the result was contrary to the South Africa Boxing Act.
Mantengu, who also holds the IBF Continental Africa junior featherweight title, will have a battle on his hands against talented and big-punching Sonjica, 28, who has won seven of his eight fights inside the distance.
He holds the African Boxing Union South junior featherweight title.