By Ron Jackson
Thabo Sonjica won the SA junior featherweight title at his third attempt when he beat Macbute Sinyabi on points on Sunday. In one of the poorest SA title fights in recent years, Sonjica took over the belt when he won by unanimous decision over 12 rounds. Judges Siya Vabaza and Simphiwo Mbini scored the bout at the Mdantsane Indoor Centre near East London 118-114 and 117-112 and Allen Matakane had it 117-113.
The 23-year-old Sonjica, who weighed 55.25 kg, had lost inside the distance to Sinyabi in their two previous fights. This time he deserved the decision because he landed most of the clean blows, if not the only ones, during the untidy affair.
The bout was marred by lunging, swinging and missing, holding, pushing, wrestling and leaning one each other, with Sinyabi (54.08 kg) being the main culprit. Referee Andile Matika would have been well advised to take sterner action against both fighters.
Most of the spectators present had probably seen better fights in school playgrounds.
Sinyabi, 26, making the tenth defence of his title, appeared to be off balance most of the time as he threw wild punches from too far out against the southpaw challenger.
Sonjica was better balanced and landed more scoring blows, even though he also missed badly at times. He improved his record to 17 wins – 13 inside the distance – and two defeats. Sinyabi’s dropped to 20-3; 18.
MBOYIYA STILL THE CHAMP
In the main supporting bout, Aphiwe Mboyiya (57.10 kg) made the first defence of his SA featherweight title and beat Lucky Kwaza (57.05 kg) on points. Simphiwo Mbini and Siya Vabaza both scored it 115-114 and Matakane had it 116-114.
In an entertaining fight between southpaws, Mboyiya picked up the pace after a slow start and probably won the middle rounds with his accurate right jab. However, he faded in the last three rounds and allowed the challenger to close the gap.
The 21-year-old Mboyiya improved his record to 8-0; 4. Kwaza, 29, who finished the bout bleeding from the mouth and with both eyes puffed up dropped to 7-2; 1.
In a clash for the vacant Eastern Cape lightweight title Vusumzi Bokolo (61.20 kg) stopped Zolo Thunywa (61 kg) in the second round to take his record to 11-5-1; 9.
Thunywa (6-4) was knocked down twice in the first round and when he went down again in the second the referee stopped the fight after a minute and 30 seconds.
In a featherweight bout scheduled for ten rounds, southpaw Nkosana Sobethu (56.95 kg) stopped another veteran, Mbuseli Besta (57.15), after 2 minutes 48 seconds of the fifth round.
The tournament was presented by Mzi Mnguni of Eyethu Boxing Promotions.