By Ron Jackson
Samuel Malinga was just too big and strong for Pius Dipheko and stopped him the fifth round to win the WBO Africa interim junior welterweight title at the Wembley Indoor Arena in Johannesburg on Saturday night. The former WBF and SA champion systematically wore down the gutsy Dipheko (62.94 kg) who tried to slug it out with Malinga (62.76 kg) rather than to stick and run which is his normal boxing style.
Dipheko had his moments in the first two rounds as he penetrated the defence of the 30-year-old Malinga, but was unable to sustain the momentum.
Malinga who improved his record to 22-6-2; 13 looked in better condition since rejoining trainer Nick Durandt.
In round two Dipheko sustained a cut on the right eye which was ruled as coming from a head butt by referee Jaap van Nieuwenhuizen. Even though it continued to bleed it was never a factor in the fight.
Dipheko went down from a left hook it early in the fifth round but managed to beat the count.
However, soon afterwards after taking a sustained battering the referee stepped in to wave that fight off at 1 minute and four seconds into the round.
Dipheko saw his record drop to 8-8-5; 2.
Malinga was coming off two losses but was in good shape and focussed as he regained some of his status in an all-action fight.
The judges were Thabo Spampool, Sazi Xamlashe and Ishmael Koali.
In a heavyweight bout on the undercard, Buli Muravha beat flabby Wiseman Dlomo on points over six rounds.
In a complete mismatch former SA junior lightweight champion Godfrey Nzimande stopped Stanford Mabasa 1 minute 7 seconds into the second round after knocking his opponent down twice in the opening round.
Former SA lightweight Amon Baloyi champion was a shadow of his former self when he was outpointed by Jerry Nekhubve over six rounds in a welterweight bout.
In the opening bout of the evening Sydney Maluleka stopped Sabelo Nokhele in the fourth round of a featherweight contest.