By Ron Jackson
In possible his best performance since joining the professional ranks South Africa’s Chris van Heerden retained his IBO welterweight belt with a unanimous 12 rounds points decision over Matthew Hatton of England at the Sandton Convention Centre near Johannesburg on Saturday night. The southpaw champion bleeding from the a cut over the right eye after a clash of heads in the third round was just too big and strong for Hatton as he outworked and outmuscled him in the clinches throughout. Judge Andile Matika (South Africa) scored it 118-110 whilst judge’s Andre von Grootehbruel (Belguim) and judge Mattelo Montelo (Italy) scored it 117-112 and 116-112.
Hatton who saw his record drop 34-7-2; 17 looked jaded and was most disappointing as he missed throughout and in the later rounds was only intent on survival against the aggressive Van Heerden 19-1-1; 10.
In what proved to be a disappointing fight the 31 year-old Hatton spent most of the time holding, clinching and trying to smother the 24-year-old and lesser experienced champion,
Referee Howard Foster of Great Britain did a good job of controlling the fight as he had to warn both boxers throughout for infringements.
Matty Clarkson (82.96kg) from Preston, England was most impressive in a scoring a seventh round technical knockout over South African light heavyweight champion Tshepang Mohale (81.26kg) .
Clarkson 9-1-2; 2 who dropped the South African for a count early in the fight dominated throughout before backing Mohale 9-6; 8 into a neutral corner in the seventh round and after landing a series of blows referee Wally Snowball stepped in to wave the fight off at 2 minutes 51 seconds into the round.
In a battle of former “world” champions fighting at welterweight former IBO junior welterweight champion Kaizer Mabuza (65.88kg) outpointed former IBO lightweight and welterweight champion, and IBF welterweight champion Isaac Hlatshwayo (66.66kg) over eight rounds. The scores were 78-74 twice and 79-73.
Mabuza 25-9-3; 16 gained revenge after losing on two previous occasions to Hlatshwayo 30-6-1-1nc; 10 who was only a shadow of the once talented fighter.
In a mauling six round heavyweight battle former South African heavyweight champion Osborne Machimana (125kg) appeared rather fortunate to get a majority draw against Elvis Moyo (112.30kg) from Zimbabwe. The scores were 58-56 and 57-57 twice.
Machimana takes his record to 18-7-2; 13 and Moyo goes to 3-4-2; 0.
In the opening bout of the evening welterweight Mthobisi Buthelezi (66,24kg) knocked out Lobanda Batale (65.74kg) from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the second round. Time 2:48.
The tournament was presented by Damien Michael of Showpony Promotions.