By Ron Jackson
In a grueling encounter Klaas Mboyane shocked the local fans when he stopped the more experienced former South African and WBC international flyweight champion Nkqubela Gwazela in the eleventh round to win the vacant South African bantamweight title at the Orient Theatre in East London on Sunday afternoon. The title became vacant when Siphiwe Vetyeka won the vacant IBO bantamweight belt at Emperors Palace earlier this month. The southpaw Mboyane (115) looked rather tight as he came out for the first round and was outpunched and backed up by the confident Gwazela (116.6). However, Mboyane did well in rounds two to four as he backed up Gwazela to score with stinging rights and lefts to the body and the head as he varied his attack. In rounds five and six Nkqubela fought of the back foot and used his longer reach to score points and possibly shade the rounds.
Mboyane had a big round seven as he stunned Nkqubela but appeared to have punched himself out just before the round ended and allowed Nkqubela to come back into the fight and shade rounds eight and nine.
However, he dug deep and did well to take round ten and then early in the eleventh round he hurt Nkqubela with a straight left that sent him stumbling back, and as the new champion pounded him with rights and lefts referee Simphiwe Mbini stepped in to call the fight off at 49 seconds into the round.
The judges were Andile Matika, Lulama Mtya and Allen Matakane.
On the undercard Zolile Mbityi, 40, who has held the SA flyweight and junior bantamweight titles and also the IBO flyweight and super flyweight belts was a shadow of his former self as he pounded out a unanimous 8 round points decision over former SA mini flyweight champion Sithembile Kibiti at the bantamweight limit, in a dull fight.
Mbityi (117.7) looking ponderous and slow used all his experience to score a unanimous decision after having Kibiti (116.6) down for a count in the second round.
The scores were 77-75, 77-74 and 76-75.
Mbityi improved his record to (34-13-3, 11 KOs) and Kibiti dropped to (18-4, 13 KOs).
Former SA lightweight champion Irvin Buhlalu (134.2) looked well past his best as he dropped a six round points decision to Vusumzi Bokolo (134.2).
The scores were 59-56 and 59-55 twice.
Other results: Mini flyweight, Zimasa Myekeni beat Mangaliso Mzinda, pts 4; Mini flyweight: Luzuko Siyo beat Khuselekile Gada, tko 1. Lightweight: Ayanda Yaphi, Draw 6, Luzuko Phike.