By Ron Jackson
Ji Hoon Kim of South Korea won the IBO junior lightweight belt when he came from behind to stop South Africa’s Zolani Marali in the tenth round at Emperors Palace near Kempton Park Saturday night. In a poor fight, the South African boxing from behind his jab was well ahead on points against the shorter Kim 58.97 kg who spent most of the night rushing in and missing with wild punches. A short right to the jaw, followed by an equally damaging left hook, dumped Marali on the canvas against the ropes in the tenth round. He beat the count but referee Phil Edwards of England, to the surprise of most spectators, almost immediately stopped the fight at 28 seconds into the round.
The stoppage appeared premature and even though Marali was hurt he appeared fit enough to continue.
The southpaw Marali 58.90 kg used his reach advantage and stick-and-move tactics to possibly win the first six rounds before he began to tire and with blood leaking from his nose he let Kim back into the fight through rounds eight nine before the dramatic stoppage in round ten.
The 32-year-old Marali saw his record drop to 20-3, with 13 knockouts and Kim, 22, improved his record to 19-5; 16.
Bedeman stops Fourie
On the undercard and by far the best fight of the night the rugged Jason Bedeman 60.96kg stopped the slick boxing Grant Fourie 60.86 kg at 48 seconds into the tenth round of their fight for the vacant IBO All-Africa lightweight title.
Bedeman was just too strong for Fourie who was down on two occasions and suffered his first defeat.
Oosthuizen wins on points
In a boring encounter southpaw Thomas Oosthuizen 76.36 kg won the vacant IBO super middleweight youth title when he outclassed Brazilian Cleber Alves 75.82 kg to win 100-88 on all three cards over ten rounds.
Groenewald wins in one
In a slugfest from the opening bell Ruben Groenewald 86.06 kg came back from two knockdowns to stop Ronnie Lategan 85.22 kg at 1 minute 44 seconds into the first round of a scheduled ten round junior heavyweight bout.
In the show opener welterweight Herbert Nkabiti 66.14 kg from Botswana completely overwhelmed the southpaw Johnny Koen 66.30 kg to score a first round stoppage win. The time was 2 minute 37 seconds.
The tournament was presented by Rodney Berman of Golden Gloves Promotions.