By Ron Jackson
Macbute Sinyabi retained his SA junior featherweight title when he knocked out Thabo Sonjica in the first round in East London on Saturday night. The fight ended after only 2 minutes and 58 seconds as the packed Orient Theatre was stunned by the sudden ending. The champion has now won 16 of his 17 professional bouts; all his victories coming by knockout. Sonjica’s record, as announced from the ring dropped to 14-1; 5.
Sinyabi, 24, was making the sixth defence of his title. Although he comes from nearby Mdantsane, he now fights out of the Nick Durandt gymnasium in Johannesburg
The 22-year-old Sonjica (55.03kg), the mandatory challenger, from Duncan Village near East London fighting from the southpaw stance came out at the bell fired up by his supporters as he tried take out the champion with won big punch.
This is where he possibly made a mistake against Sinyabi (55.12kg) who backed off from his onrushing opponent before unleashing a sweeping left hook to the jaw that sent Sonjica to the canvas flat on his face where he was counted out by referee Andile Matika.
The judges were Lulama Mtya, Simphiwe Mbini and Siya Vabaza
On the same card Miniyakhe Sityatha (52.05kg) came from behind to score a dramatic tenth-round stoppage win over Unathi Gqokoma (52.10kg) to win the SA junior bantamweight title.
The 26-year old Gqokama fighting from the southpaw stance took an early lead with his switch hitting, movement around the ring and better boxing skills.
However, in round eight he slowed down drastically and for the first time Sityatha, 20, began to dominate the fight.
In the ninth a clearly weakened Gqokama held on to try and survive before sinking down to his knees against the ropes in the tenth round from a flurry of light blows.
Referee Lulama Mtya appeared to count him out, but when Gqokoma regained his feet and in no condition to continue he waved the fight on before suddenly deciding to stop the fight.
The confusing continued when the ring announcer, announced that the referee had reached the count of ten at 2:35 into the tenth round for Sityatha to win on a technical knockout, when possibly it should have been a knockout.
Sityakhe took his record to 11-2; 5 and Gqokama dropped to 16-4-1; 4.
The judges were Allen Matkane, Simphiwe Mbini and Siya Vabaza.
The matchmaking and standard of the undercard fights was poor.
Flyweight: Onla Qongwana beat Abongile Ngxishe, ko 1 (1:50); Flyweight: Morris Lento beat Siyabonga Masiba, tko 6 (1:51); Junior lightweight: Xolisa Ndongeni beat Lonwabo Mkhosana, tko 4 (2:54); Junior lightweight: Mandilakhe Sontlaba beat Zolile Dyosiba, ko 1(1:08).
The tournament was presented by Mzi Mnguni of Eyethu Promotions.