By Ron Jackson
Daniel Bruwer had to come back from two knockdowns before stopping six fight novice Fikile Nyalunga in the eleventh round to capture the vacant South African junior heavyweight title at the Orlando Community Hall in Soweto near Johannesburg on Sunday afternoon.
Going into the fight the 28-year-old Bruwer (89.66kg) with a 29 fight record was an overwhelming favourite against the 6 fight Nyalunga, 25, but he looked like the novice as he was outboxed throughout the fight.
From the first bell Bruwer a former South African light heavyweight champion was sluggish as moved forward following his opponent around the ring like an amateur.
In the second round a swinging right hook to the jaw dropped Bruwer flat on his back and he did well to beat the count.
Somehow or other the gutsy Bruwer did well to weather the storm against the better boxing Nyalunga (87.72kg) whose right eye began to close up from some of the right hand punches coming through from Bruwer.
However, in round eight a right to the jaw sent Bruwer down to the canvas on his knees and with blood pouring from his nose it looked like it was all over for him.
Showing tremendous courage he dragged himself up to beat the count and came back to possibly win the tenth round against the dramatically tiring Nyalunga.
It was a weary looking Nyalunga who was well ahead on points that came out for the eleventh round and he just had to survive to the final bell to take the decision and the title.
However, it was not to be as Bruwer dropped the shaky Nyalunga to the canvas with a chopping right to the head.
He just beat the count but soon afterwards was battered to the head and collapsed in the corner as referee Thabo Spampool stepped in to call the fight off at 47 seconds into the round.
Bruwer improves his record 24-5-1; 20 and Nyalunga drops to 5-2; 2.
The judges were Tony Nyangiwe, Alfred Buqwana and Boitumelo Madiba.
Other results: Heavyweight: Juan Lutete Kamba beat Sizwe Congo, ko 1; Super middleweight: Renson Hobyani beat Valentine Mutunda, pts 4; Featherweight: Thato Bonokwane Draw 4 Anslin Booysen; Lightweight: Humbulani Neshamutshedzi Draw 4 Babalo Ncakeni; Junior featherweight: Bongani Mahlangu beat Themba Lesiba, pts 6.
The tournament was presented by Pat Molefe of Rainbow Promotions.