By Ron Jackson
In a battle of veterans WBF junior welterweight champion Zolani Marali was just too fast and slick for Mzolisi Yoyo as he outboxed him over 12 rounds to win by wide margins and retain his belt for the first time at the Orient Theatre in East London on Sunday afternoon. Judge Rassie Erasmus scored it 117-111 whilst judges Lulama Mtya and Allen Matakane had 119-112 and 119-110.
After a slow start Marali (62.50kg) picked up the pace in round six and using his southpaw right jab effectively, he began to dominate the fight through rounds seven to eleven as Yoyo (63.50kg) the South African junior welterweight champion had no answer to slick moves of the defending champion.
Believing he was well had in the final round Marali began showboating and had to be warned by referee Darryl Ribbink.
Ribbink who did a good of handling the fight also had to warn both fighters on occasions for foul tactics.
Marali, 36, improved his record to 23-5; 13 and Yoyo who is also 36-years-old saw his record drop to 21-5; 16.
Ndongeni retains SA junior lightweight title
In one of the poorest South African title fights in recent years Xolani Ndongeni (58.80kg) retained his South African junior lightweight title when he beat Themba Tschicila (58.30kg) on a majority 12 round points decision
Both fighters spent most of the time during the fight swinging wildly, punching from too far out, missing, holding, pushing and stumbling around the ring.
The 37-year-old Tschicila who fights from the southpaw stance tired badly and did well to finish the fight on his feet against the younger 23-year-old champion.
Ndongeni takes his record to 11-0; 6 and Tschicila’s reported record drops to 25-11-2; 7.
The referee was Allen Matkane and judges Simphiwo Mbina and Phumeza Zinakale scored it 118-110 and 115-113 whilst judge Vabaza Booi had it a surprising 114-114.
The tournament was presented by Ayanda Matiti of Xaba Boxing Promotions.