South Africa’s Bongani “Wonderboy” Mahlangu failed in his bid in a challenge against Patrick Kinigamazi from Rwanda for the World Boxing Federation junior lightweight belt when he lost on a majority 12 pound points decision at the Cirque de Noel in Geneva, Switzerland on Thursday night.
Judges Fabian Guggenheim and Beat Hausammann scored it 117-111 and 116-112 for Kinigamazi, but judge Christian Roesen could not split the fighters when he handed in a card of 114-114. The referee was Vincent Dupas.
The 40-year-old Mahlangu (22-8, 10 KOs), who fights from the southpaw stance, put up a credible performance against the 36-year-old Kinigamazi (32-2, 4 KOs) who is based in Thonex, Switzerland.
Kinigamazi won the vacant WBF belt in June 2017 with a 12 round unanimous points decision over Juan Jose Farias (18-9-1) and then made successful defenses against Robert Laki (ko 5), Ramiro Blanco (pts 12) and Jordan McCorry (pts 12).
It is rather sad that Mahlangu who was an outstanding amateur has never realized his true potential in the professional ring and has only now had a crack at a world title even though it was from one of the lesser organizations.
He won the silver medal in the lightweight class in 2003 at the All-Africa Games in Abuja, Nigeria and represented South Africa at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, but was stopped in the first round of the lightweight division by Azerbaijan’s Rovshan Huseynov.
As a professional, he has had limited success since making his pro debut in August 2006, even though he has won the South African junior featherweight title and also the WBA Pan African, WBA Intercontinental bantamweight and WBO International junior featherweight titles.