By Ron Jackson
Jasper Seroka retained his SA junior lightweight title for the first time when he stopped Wandile Mseleku at 1 minute 5 seconds into the sixth round at the Nasrec Indoor Arena in Johannesburg on Friday night. Mseleku’s left eye began to puff up as early as the third round and was swollen shut when the referee Amos Lusenga stepped in to stop the one-sided contest in the sixth round.
A ringside doctor had inspected the damaged eye earlier in the round and allowed the challenger to continue but the referee showed good judgment in saving the KwaZulu-Natal fighter from further punishment.
Mseleku should not have been in the ring with the national champion in the first place. with a reported record of 7-1-2; 5 before the fight, mostly in four rounders.
The champion who took his record to 21-1; 9 was not all the impressive and laboured against his inexperienced opponent.
Both boxers were well conditioned, with Seroka coming in at 58.90kg and the taller Mseleku at 57.7kg.
Mseleku, 24, was unable to use his reach advantage and with his lack of balance, footwork, hand speed, defence, power and variety of punches did not trouble the champion at any time.
The 27-year-old champion started off throwing overhead rights at his novice opponent in the first few rounds, but soon realised that the jab would be more effective. It was the punch that set him up for victory.
Seroka won the SA junior lightweight title when he outpointed Godfrey Nzimande in October last year. He has not improved much since then, unless he allowed himself to be dragged down to his opponent’s level in his first defence.
On the undercard in a lively four rounder junior bantamweight Jason Kinnear (52.14kg) scored a unanimous points decision over Mandla Toli (51.10kg) and in another junior bantamweight contest that was all action Nkosinathi Ximba (51.96kg) and Lwazi Phakathi (50.84kg) fought to a draw over four rounds.
Promising welterweight Mthobisi Buthelezi (66.12kg) took his unbeaten steak to eight when he knocked out Tumelo Mabashe (64.42kg) after 2 minutes 25 seconds into the fourth round. Mabashe’s record drops to 2-6.
Boxing SA and promoter Branco Milenkovic must have been rather perturbed at the poor attendance as I don’t think there were 200 people in the arena.