By Ron Jackson
Macbute Sinyabi had to come back from a knockdown in the second round before he stopped gutsy challenger Themba Lesiba in the sixth to retain his South African junior featherweight title at the Nasrec Expo Centre near Johannesburg on Friday night.
The tournament was presented by Alan Young of Knockout Promotions.
The taller Sinyabi (55.12kg) completely dominated the first round as he scored with stinging lefts and rights to the head of Lesiba (55.30kg) and it looked like the fans were in for an early night.
However, in the second round the nuggety Lesiba scored with a clubbing right to the side of the champions head that sent him down on one knee where he took an eight count from referee Wally Snowball.
Early in the third round Sinyabi landed a left hook that saw Lesiba turning his back on him and was hit from behind before the referee took up the count.
Lesiba, 24, took a battering for the rest of the round but did well to come back to possibly shade the fourth and fifth rounds.
However in the sixth round the stronger champion picked up the pace and Lesiba took a knee early in the round from a body blow and was down again soon afterwards from a short right to the head.
The challenger was in a bad way and his corner wisely threw in the towel as the referee waved the fight off at 1 minute 56 seconds into the round.
Sinyabi improved his record to 14-1, with 14 knockouts and Lesiba’s reported record dropped to 9-1-1, with 3 stoppages.
Sinyabi, 23, who was making the fourth defence of his title will have to tighten his leaky defence should he want to move on to the international scene.
The judges were Joseph Chaane, Neville Hotz and Thabo Spampool.
On the undercard in a lightweight contest Oupa Maimane (60.70kg) outboxed Jared Silverman (60.34kg) to score a majority points decision over four rounds. Both boxers were making their debut.
In an untidy bantamweight affair Sipho Nkadimeng (53.16kg) and Bongani Siwisa (53.46kg) fought to a six round draw.
Junior middleweight Nkululeko Mhlongo (69.76kg) was just too big and strong for Theophilus Mpakane (69.40kg) before scoring a stoppage at 2 minute and 4 seconds into the third round of a scheduled six.
In a bantamweight contest Thami Mbonambi (53.52kg) maintained his unbeaten record when he stopped Lwazi Mzolisa (52.20kg) at 2:49 into the third round.