By Ron Jackson
Keith Nkosi caused a major upset when knocked out Warren Joubert at 2 minutes 15 seconds of the first round to win the vacant ABU lightweight title Emperors Palace near Kempton Park on Monday night. Joubert, who weighed 60.90 kg, came out throwing punches in his normal busy style but the less experienced Nkosi (61.10 kg) weathered the storm and suddenly landed a short right to the jaw that sent Joubert crashing to the canvas. The pre-fight favourite beat the count but a classic uppercut sent him down soon afterwards and referee Tony Nyangiwe counted him out. Joubert’s record dropped to 16-3-4, with 11 knockouts. Nkosi’s improved to 7-1; 5.
In the main supporting bout, former two-time IBF and WBF junior lightweight champion Malcolm Klassen (58.25 kg) outpointed Bongani Mahlangu (58.25 kg) in a scrappy eight-rounder. Mahlangu, a southpaw whose record now stands at 13-5; 7, is a former WBA Pan African bantamweight champion. He moved up three divisions for this fight. The unorthodox Mahlangu, intent on survival, resorted to spoiling tactics from the first round, holding and pushing his opponent and giving referee Wally Snowball a hard night’s work. Snowball could easily have deducted a point or two but in the end Klassen won by 79-73 on two cards and 77-75, improving his record to 27-5-2, including 14 knockouts.
In the opening bout, junior welterweight Rofhiwe Maemu (60.85 kg) stopped Adam de Moor (63) in the first round of a bout scheduled for six.
Kos Sibiya (60.55 kg) beat Grant Fourie (60.70) on a majority decision over six rounds in a fast-paced lightweight bout. The scores were 59-54, 57-56 and 57-57.
In another junior welterweight clash Jason Bedeman (62.90 kg) stopped Nkosinnatho Tshimhave (62.50) at 2 minutes 49 seconds of the second round. The stoppage was probably a little premature.
Former SA light-heavyweight champion Johnny Muller (79.15 kg) had to put in some hard work before he knocked out a plucky Lee Dyer (78.55) after 2 minutes and 28 seconds of the fourth round of a bout scheduled for six.