By Ron Jackson
Macbute Sinyabi came back from the brink of a knock-out defeat to stop Tendani Munyai in the second round of a sensational SA junior featherweight title fight at the Orient Theatre in East London on Friday night. The crowd saw five knock-downs in less than two rounds.
Sinyabi (55.00 kg), the SA junior featherweight champion who was making his third defence, was in desperate trouble before he recovered to knock out the challenger just before the bell at the end of the second round.
Munyai (55.52 kg), from Limpopo province, suffered a debatable knockdown from a cuff to the neck in the first round as he pressed forward against the Mdantsane knockout specialist.
After an action packed first round the champion forced Munyai on the back foot in the second round, but was dumped on the seat of his pants by a stiff left jab.
Sinyabi was in desperate trouble and was nearly down again immediately after beating the count, but managed to hold on as he cleared his head.
The gutsy challenger did the right thing and went all out to stop the dangerous punching Sinyabi before the cobwebs cleared, but he dropped his guard and was put down with a right to the head.
Munyai went down for the second time from a push, as referee Lulama Mtya erred by giving him a count.
However, soon afterwards the challenger once again left an opening and Sinyabi drove in a straight-right, left-hook combination to put Munyai flat on his back.
The referee did not pick up the count and immediately waved the fight off at 2 minutes 56 seconds into the round.
The result was announced as a knockout but it should be recorded as a technical knockout as there was no ten-count.
It took the medics several minutes to revive the 26-year-old Munyai.
The 22-year-old Sinyabi took his record to 13-1, with 13 knockouts and Munyai’s record was announced from the ring before the fight as 15-3; 10.
For the record the judges were Siya Vabaza, Andile Matika and Allen Matakane.
The tournament was presented by Mamali Productions.
On the undercard in a junior flyweight contest scheduled for six rounds Mandisi Mkile (48.85 kg) stopped Thobani Mbangeni (47.75 kg) in the second round.
Also at junior flyweight in an entertaining contest former South African champion Phathutshendzo Nemukongwe (48.98 kg) returned to the ring after a long absence to score a unanimous 8 round points decision over Simphiwe Mabona (48.25 kg).
The scores were 77-75 twice and 78-76.