By Ron Jackson
South Africa’s Patrick Malinga had to come back from a second round knockdown before he knocked out Romeo Jako from the Philippines in the fourth round of a scheduled ten round lightweight contest at the Nasrec Indoor Arena in Johannesburg on Friday night.
In a bout that lacked boxing skills both fighters came out throwing wild punches from the first bell, in what developed into a slugfest.
The 31-year-old Malinga (61.18kg) who was very tight and only intent on knocking his opponent out paid then penalty in the second round as came in swinging and was caught with a right to the head that sent him crashing to canvas.
However, he managed to beat the count and dropped the 20-year-old Jako (61,22kg) with a flurry of punches just before the end of the round.
Both fighters continued to slug it out in the third round but the Filipino was just not big enough and strong enough to keep the South African at bay and in the fourth round after another barrage of punches to the head, an exhausted Jako slipped to the canvas in the corner where referee Sazi Xamlashe counted him out at 1 minute 25 seconds into the round.
Jaco, whose birth name is Jakosalem saw his reported record drop to 9-3; 4 and Malinga improved to 23-6-2; 20.
The tournament was presented by promoter Branco Milenkovic and the judges were Joseph Chaane, Wally Snowball and Garth Murray.
On the undercard in a flyweight contest Lehlohonolo Ramagole (50.62kg) scored a six round unanimous points decision over Sipho Nkadimenge (49.72kg) and junior welterweight Michael Sangweni (63.48kg) also won over six rounds against Godfrey Mabunda (63.44kg)