By Ron Jackson
Tshepo Mashego regained the SA junior middleweight title when he beat Vincent Vuma on a split decision at the Sasol Recreation Centre in eMbalenhle, Secunda on Friday night. Mashego who finished strongly in the last two rounds and had the champion on rubbery legs deserved a unanimous decision. However, judge Sazi Xamlashe was off the mark with a card of 116-115 for Vuma. Jaap van Nieuwenhuizen scored it 115-113 and judge Thabo Spampool handed in a 116-112 card.
Vuma (69.84kg) who was making the fifth defence of his title never got into the fight and was punching short throughout against the cagey and sharper punching Mashego (69.04kg).
Mashego made the lacklustre champion miss with probably 75 per cent or more of his punches.
Moving inside the champions punches Mashego rocked Vuma’s head back on occasions and was always in control.
In a fight almost devoid of body punching the challenger landed the more damaging blows.
Mashego, who had lost his second bout against Vuma on a disputed split decision, improved his record to 17-9, with 9 stoppages and Vuma dropped to 27-4; 15.
In a cleanly contested fight referee Isaac Khoali had an easy nights work.
The tournament was presented by Tshehla’s Mpumalanga Boxing Promotions.
On the undercard in a junior featherweight contest Lwazi Mzolisa (54.14kg) caused a minor upset when stopped the previously unbeaten and more experienced Phumzile Mathyila (52.14kg) in the third round of a scheduled six.
Mzolisa improved his record to 7-2; 5 and Mathyila dropped to 17-1; 9.