Three WBF World Championship fights found winners on Friday night, March 31. One in Fort-de-France, Martinique, and two in Cape Town, South Africa. One saw a reigning champion unseated, while two had vacant titles claimed by very competent new champions.
At the Hall des Sports Stade Louis Achille, in Fort-de-France, Diego Diaz Gallardo from Argentina started his challenge of WBF Middleweight Champion Michel Mothmora strong, scoring a knock-down in the first round to silence the local crowd.
But Motmora beat the count of referee Christophe Hembert, and by the second round he had already composed himself and used his superior technique to out-box Gallardo. While the visitor was very game, Mothmora won every round until round eight, when everything fell apart for him.
Still very focused and determined, Gallardo took advantage of the effective body-work he had used to tire Mothmora in previous rounds, and when he hurt him early in the eighth he followed up and got the stoppage with a flurry of hard, clean punches. Time of stoppage was 0:55.
The new WBF Middleweight Champion improved his professional record to 21-5-1 (12), while Mothmora, making his first title-defense, drops to 29-25 (11). The fight headlined a show promoted by Alex Dunon and CR Martinique.
A few hours earlier at the Oliver Tambo Hall in Cape Town, South Africa, local favourites Mzuvukile Magwaca and Bukiwe Nonina won vacant World Boxing Federation (WBF) World Bantamweight and Womens World Bantamweight titles respectively.
Undefeated Magwaca scored a split decision over Philippines national champion Jason Ganoy, who came forward for most of the fight and forced the home-man to box on the back-foot. Magwaca did so very effectively, and most ringsiders felt the right winner was found.
Judges Clifford Mbelu and Eddie Marshal scored the contest 117-112 and 117-110 for Magwaca, who improved to 18-0-2 (10), and judge Darryl Ribbink saw it as 115-114 for Ganoy, 26-7-2 (19). Referee in charge of the action was Thabo Spampool.
Many considered South African champion Bukiwe Nonina the underdog in her first world title-challenge against former world champion Alesia Graf from Germany, but this was another case where the underdog rose to the occasion and came out on top.
In a high-paced fight, Nonina boxed masterfully against the aggressive Graf, who with twenty previous championship fights on her ledger was by far the more experienced of the two. It was an evenly contested bout, but after ten rounds Nonina was crowned new world champion by unanimous decision.
Scores from judges Darryl Ribbink, Thabo Spampool and Elroy Marshall were 96-94, 96-94 and 96-93, as Nonina took her record to 11-3-1 (2). Referee was Eddie Marshall.
36-year-old Alesia Graf, who won her first professional title in 2005, proved that she is still world class, but sees her record drop to 29-6 (13).
The Championship double-header was promoted by Lyon Promotions, Dream Team Promotions and Amandla Promotions.