By Ron Jackson
Former IBF minimumweight champion Nkosinathi Joyi came back in style when he stopped Argentina’s Walter Rojas in 2 minutes and 13 seconds of the first round to win the WBA interim mini flyweight belt at the Orient Theatre in East London on Saturday night. The southpaw Joyi, 29, whose record improves to 23-1, 15 KOs suffered his first defeat when he was knocked out in the seventh round by Mario Rodriguez of Mexico on September 1 this year, to lose his IBF belt. The taller Joyi was in control from the first bell before sending Rojas 20-2-1; 18 down with a left hand to the body. The Argentinean managed to beat the count but the referee waved the fight off when his corner threw in the towel.
On the same card Zolani Marali 22-5, 13 KOs gained revenge when he outpointed WBF champion Ali Funeka 31-4-3, 25 KOs to claim Funeka’s junior welterweight belt. In November last year Funeka, 34, won the vacant World Boxing Federation belt when he scored a highly disputed decision against the 35-year-old Marali. In an entertaining fight that was fought toe-to-toe throughout, Marali won with scores of 116-114 and 116-113 twice.
In a closely fought contest former Commonwealth bantamweight champion and IBO junior featherweight champion Tshifhiwa Munyai outscored former WBF champion Oscar Chauke over 12 rounds to win the vacant WBA Pan-African junior featherweight crown. Munyai improved his record to 22-2-1, with 10 knockouts, and Chauke dropped to 29-8-2; 10.
South African junior featherweight champion Macbute Sinyabi 20-2; 18 KOs struggled against Pfariso Neluvhalani 9-7-1; 1 KOs before winning on points over 12 hard rounds to retain his title. Sinyabi who had stopped Neluvhalani in the seventh round in December 2010 retained his belt for the ninth time.
The tournament was presented by Siphatho Handi