By Ron Jackson
Macbute Sinyabi had to survive a determined attack from challenger Luyanda Mruwali in the middle rounds before retaining his SA junior featherweight title on a tenth round technical knockout at the Orient Theatre in East London on Friday night. The champion, who had to go beyond the fifth round for the first time in his career of 12 wins and one defeat with all 12 wins inside the distance, had to face a determined attack from Mruwali (55.10kg) who came back from a second round knockdown to possibly win rounds three to six. This was Sinyabi’s second defence of the title.
The 22-year-old Sinyabi (54.70kg) regained control from the seventh round as he began to box from behind the jab and jolted Mrawuli’s head back on occasions.
A cut above the left eye which his corner was unable to control contributed to Mrawuli’s defeat after a gutsy performance. He showed the champion no respect despite his devastating knockout record and appeared to be taking control of the fight at times.
An overhand right followed by another right to the head put the challenger down midway through the second, but he did well to recover and take the fight to the champion.
However, from round nine Mruwali showed signs of tiring and in round ten a clubbing overhand right to the jaw sent him crashing to the canvas where he remained for several minutes.
Referee Siya Vabaza realising that Mruwali was in serious trouble did not pick up the count and waved the fight off at 1 minute 16 seconds into the round.
The judges were Andile Matika, Lulama Mtya and Alan Matakane.
Mruwali, 27, record was announced as (10-3-2, 8 KOs) from the ring before the fight.
On the undercard in a featherweight bout Sabelo Jubatha (56.75kg) scored a six round points decision over Wonga Ntoyakhe (56.75kg).
The tournament was presented by Sipho Handi of Mamali Promotions.