By Ron Jackson
In possibly the worst South African welterweight title fight in the history of South African boxing Tsiko Mulovhedzi beat Boitshepo Mandawe on a 12 round unanimous decision in a clash for the vacant title at the Nasrec Indoor Arena near Johannesburg on Friday night. Judge Phillip du Randt scored it 115-112 and judges David van Nieuwenhuizen and Joe Chaane had it 116-111 and 118-109. The title became vacant when Chris van Heerden relinquished it after winning the IBO welterweight belt in September last year.
From the first bell both fighters went into a clinch and started to push and hold into what became a wrestling match and this was the pattern throughout the 12 rounds.
When they did resort to boxing it was the taller Mulovhedzi (66.20kg) who landed the cleaner punches as Mandawe (66.44kg) who was deducted a point by referee Xamlashe in the fourth round became totally frustrated and forgot how to box.
There were very few moments of real action during the 12 rounds with both fighters holding and pushing.
Mandawe was warned on numerous occasions and the referee possibly erred by not warning Mulovhedzi who was the main culprit.
Mulovhedzi improved his record to 7-6-3; 3 and Mandawe dropped to 12-3; 11.
Other results: Bantamweight: Mxolisi Nombewu draw 4 Noah Hthai; Welterweight: Jarred Silverman beat Vusi Bilankulu, pts 4; Junior welterweight: Keith Nkosi beat Oupa Maimane, pts 4; Middleweight: Walter Dlamini beat Wynanad Mulder, tko 1; Junior middleweight: Sylvester Zaki beat Kobus Motlohoding, tko 2.
The tournament is presented by Pat Molefe of Rainbow Promotions with seven bouts on the undercard.