By Ron Jackson
In a disappointing fight Malawi’s Isaac Chilembe won the vacant WBO Africa light-heavyweight title when he beat David Kitooke of Uganda on points over 12 rounds at the Graceland Casino in Secunda on Saturday night. Judges Ismail Khoali and Sazi Xamlashe scored it 118-110 and 116-111 whilst judge Thabo Spampool had 120-110.
The cards appeared a little one-sided as neither boxer came to fight in a fight that produced little excitement and even less classy boxing.
The first four rounds appeared to be little more than a sparring session as both fighters showed each other to much respect.
It took Chilembe (79.20kg) more than half the fight to establish his authority as Kitooke, the heavier puncher of the two, tried to keep the pressure on his tall opponent.
The only knockdown came at the end of the ninth round when Kitooke (78.60kg) took a count from referee Jaap van Nieuwenhuizen after stopping a solid right and a useful combination of follow-up punches.
However, he got caught as he stumbled back against the ropes and was not hurt.
Chilembe, more methodical and composed than the wildly swinging Kitooke, took a few decent punches during the early rounds but was never in danger of being knocked down.
The new champion improved his record to 13-1, with 8 knockouts and Kitooke dropped to 10-1-1; 9.
On the undercard of the Golden Gloves Promotions tournament Grant Fourie (60.58kg) beat Danile Botman (61.08kg) on a split decision in a lightweight contest over eight rounds.
Fourie struggled throughout and possibly came back too soon after a bout of glandular fever.
Fourie improves his record to 9-0-1 and Botman drops to 13-15-2.
Other results: Featherweight: Sabelo Nokhele beat Ashley Dlamini, pts 6; Featherweight: Joey Stiglingth beat Vusimuzi Manyoni, tko 4; Junior flyweight: Charity Mukondeleli beat Ronald Parks, pts 6; Flyweight: Jackson Chauke beat Sipho Nkadimeng, pts 6.