As part of the internationally acclaimed annual Mangaung African Cultural Festival (MACUFE) in Bloemfontein, South Africa, promoter Lebo Mahoko presented a big boxing event at the Dr. Molemela Indoor Stadium headlined by three World Boxing Federation (WBF) title fights.
Televised by SABC, expectations were especially high for the clash between 24-year-old hot prospect Rofhiwa “War Child” Maemu and tough campaigner Tello “King Razor” Dithebe with the vacant WBF Intercontinental Featherweight title at stake.
Trained by the well-respected Alan Toweel, and considering a nice run of six straight impressive victories, Maemu was seen as a healthy favorite beforehand, but Dithebe had plans of his own and gave as good as he got through twelve even and hard-fought rounds.
And when the score-cards were tallied, the underdog was awarded the victory by split decision as judges Ben Ncapai and Thabo Spampool had him ahead by 115-113 and 116-112, overruling the 116-112 score in favor of Maemu from judge Boitumelo Madiba.
With his fourth straight victory, the new WBF Champion is now 15-5 (6), and could be closing in on a world title opportunity next year after resurrecting his career. Maemu loses for the first time since July 2014 and sees his ledger fall to 10-6-2 (7).
Nkululeko “The Bulldoog” Mhlongo retained his WBF Intercontinental Super Welterweight title in a rematch with WBF All Africa champion Frans Ramabola, scoring a clear twelve round unanimous decision, having stopped Ramabola in round ten of their original encounter last February.
While the first fight was quite competitive, Mhlongo, now 16-3 (12), was more in control this time around and judges Beauty Thuthani and Baru Tihone had him winning 118-112, and judge Tladi Poone scored it a 120-108, not giving Ramabola, 7-2 (2), a single round.
In a late addition to the WBF championship-line-up, reigning WBF Womens International Bantamweight Champion Matshidiso Mokebisi retained her title with a unanimous decision after ten close rounds over game challenger Melissa Miller.
Judges Ben Ncapai, Thabo Spampool and Simon Mokadi all scored it 96-93 for the champion, who improved her record to 6-5-1 (2) after her second successful title-defense, while Miller drops to 3-5-1 (0).
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October 7 2016