By Ron Jackson
Ryno Liebenberg had to come back from a knockdown in the second round before he stopped Johnny Muller in the ninth to win the vacant IBO All Africa light-heavyweight title at Emperors Palace, Kempton Park, on Saturday night. Muller (78.84kg) caught Liebenberg (79.32kg) with a left and right to the top the head that sent him down to the canvas early in the second round. A badly shaken Liebenberg did well to survive. A more cautious Liebenberg boxed well in rounds three and four before landing a big left hook that sent Muller down in his own corner for a count in the fifth round. Liebenberg landed the cleaner scoring punches another big left hook sent Muller down in the ninth round. Muller managed to beat the count but after a barrage of punches sent him down on his knees against the ropes referee Ace Makaluza waved the fight off at 2 minutes 43 seconds into the round. Liebenberg improved his record to 9-0, 5 KOs, and Muller dropped to 11-2-2, 8 KOs.
Budler retains IBO belt
Hekkie Budler (47.60kg) in one of his best performances since joining the professional beat Filipino Florante Condes (47.52kg) over 12 rounds in an entertaining fight to retain the IBO strawweight belt. Making the first defence of his belt, Budler had to come back from a torrid first round as Condes (25-7-1, 21 KOs) scored with stinging shots to the head and body. However, the superbly conditioned Budler (21-1, 6 KOs) came back to shade the second and boxing from behind his jab he controlled the fight throughout against the southpaw Condes who appeared to lose his way. Judge Ace Makaluza (SA) scored the fight 116-112 and judges Lisa Giampa (USA) and Danrex Tapdasan (Philippines) had it 118-110 and 115-113.
Simba stopped in one round
In the first semi-final of the Super 8 cruiserweight series Flo Simba (89.70kg) was once again stopped in the first round by Thabiso Mchunu (90.68kg). The southpaw Mchunu (12-1, 10 KOs) came out firing at the first bell and never let up as battered Simba (12-4, 10 KOs) around the ring landing with thudding right and lefts to the head before referee Phillip Durandt stepped in to wave the fight off at 2 minutes 46 seconds into the round.
In the other semifinal, Danie Venter (90.62kg) took every thing that the powerful Zack Mwekassa (89.54kg) threw at him before stopping him in the fourth round. Mwekassa went down from a left hook in the second round but beat the count. Another classic left hook sent Mwekassa down in the fourth, but he managed to beat the count. However, Venter backed him up and sent him down flat on his back after a flurry of blows. Referee Jaap van Nieuwenhuizen stepped in immediately to stop the fight at 2 minute 23 seconds into of the round. Mweksassa’s record drops to 13-3, 12 KOs and Venter improves to 14-5, 10 KOs.
In the first bout of the evening former IBF junior lightweight champion Mzonke Fana (58.54kg) was outpointed over 12 rounds by Sipho Taliwe (58’86kg) who retained his WBC International junior lightweight title. The scores were 117-110 twice and 115-112. The 31-year-old Taliwe (16-2, 10 KOs) was just too fast and strong for the 39-year-old Fana (31-5, 13 KOs) who went down for counts in rounds six and eight and was a shadow of the once classy IBF champion.
The tournament was presented by Rodney Berman of Golden Gloves