By Ron Jackson
Sydney Maluleke from Johannesburg caused an upset when he stopped local fighter Sabelo Jubatha in the seventh round to win the South African featherweight title at a packed Orient Theatre in East London on Sunday. Jubatha (14-2, 10 KOs) was making the second defense of the title that he won in December 2011 when stopped Simphiwe Tom in the fourth round. Jubatha took an early lead as he boxed from behind the jab but Maluleka picked up the pace in the sixth round and in the seventh he backed up the champion to land with left and rights before referee Andile Matika stepped in to wave the fight off.
He made his first defense in March this year when he outpointed Wonga Ntoyakhe over 12 rounds.
The underrated Maluleka, who has a reported record of 11-3, 6 KOs, was having his second crack at winning the SA featherweight title. On February 3, 2007 he was outpointed over 12 rounds by Ludumo Galada in a clash for the vacant title. In a non title return bout with Galada he was outpointed over six rounds. Since that setback he has scored wins over Sibusiso Khumalo, Grant Fourie, and in return bout with Khumalo he stopped him in the fourth round.