By Ron Jackson
In an entertaining bout Chris van Heerden retained his SA welterweight title when he beat Welcome Ntshingila on a unanimous points decision at the Matlosana Banquet Hall in Klerksdorp on Friday night. Judges Thabo Spampool and Jaap van Nieuwenhuizen scored it 117-111 whilst judge Tony Nyangiwe had it 118-110.
The southpaw Van Heerden, 21, improved his record to 12-0-1; 9 and Ntshingila; 27, dropped to 16-8-3; 5.
The champion was in superb physical condition and Ntshingila proved durable even though he had to make two trips to the scales at the weigh-in.
Van Heerden (66.52kg) was the aggressor throughout as he landed most of the scoring punches, with Ntshingila (66.60kg) only scoring with sporadic combinations when he changed to the southpaw stance.
Unfortunately Van Heerden did not have enough power to stop the challenger and relied mostly on his height and reach advantage to outbox Ntshingila through most of the rounds.
Van Heerden, who had won the SA title with a 12th-round stoppage victory over Page Tshisane, was making his first defence.
Both fighters lost their mouth protectors on occasions and referee Sylivia Mokaila erred every time by not waiting for a lull in the action as set out in terms of the rules, before requesting the corner men to replace mouthguard.
The tournament was promoted by Branco Milenkovic of Branco Sports Productions.