By Ron Jackson
In a completely one-sided fight South Africa’s Thabo Sonjica dominated Silvester Lopez of the Philippines before scoring a sixth round stoppage, to win the vacant IBO junior featherweight belt at the Orient Theatre in East London on Saturday night. It was a confident looking Sonjica 18-2; 13 who came out at the first bell to take the fight to his shorter opponent as he used his height and longer reach to score with his southpaw right jab. Through rounds two to five this was the pattern of the fight as the rather mediocre and tentative Lopez 20-6-1; 15 moved around the ring with his hands held up against his face. At no time was Lopez (55.35kg) able to penetrate the guard of the smooth moving Sonjica (55.20kg). Early in the sixth round Sonjica caught the Filipino with a stiff right to the head followed up by a left that sent him staggering back against the ropes. He hung his head down as if to surrender and referee Andile Matika waived the fight off at 45 seconds into the round.
The performance by the 25-year-old Lopez was poor to say the least and he looked even worse than his number 35 ranking by the IBO. The judges were Ace Makaluza (SA), Reg Thompson (UK) and Hilton Whitaker (USA)
Undercard: Mini flyweight: Nhlanhla Ngamtwini beat Asandiso Mancapha ko 1; Junior flyweight: Luzuko Siyo beat Mzwabantu Dabaza, pts 6; Welterweight: Ncedisile Kafile Tec Draw 2 Mziwoxolo Ndwayana; Welterweight: Ali Funeka beat Vusi Dladla ko 1.
The tournament was presented by Mzi Mnguni of Eythu Boxing Promotions.