By Lwazi Ndzobongo: Phumzile Matyila retained hi SA Bantamweight Title by beating Cleutus Mbele via ninth round stoppage on Saturday night.
Matyila was making the second defence of his title at the Orient theatre in East London. He put on a classy performance against a very game opponent who wanted to wrestle the title away from him.
The referee ended the fight at 2 minutes and 58 seconds into the ninth round, Matyila landed two big rights before landing a combination that dropped Mbele, he was able to get to his feet before indicating to the referee he had no intention to continue.
Mbele had started well, showing little respect for the champ and making a fight out of it. His problems started in the 3rd round when he found himself eating the champs booming straight right. Being southpaw Mbele didn’t have an answer to this punch as it was a constant throughout the bout together with a left hook that Matyila was landing well.
Mbele showed good hand speed and work rate but was being outclassed by Matyila who dominated any close quarter battles, with good combinations and great balance.
Matyila improved to 18-1-2(9), while Mbele dimmed to 10-3-2 (5). Mbele looks good for the future and at only 21 years of age, is sure to bounce back. Matyila doesn’t have age on his side and should look for the big fights to define his career that has never reached the heights that were expected after his long and successful amateur days. The former three time SA Titlist, 1998 commonwealth games bronze medallist and 2000 Olympic games qualify should be happy with his nights work though.
This Eyethu promotions card was a good advertisement for Eastern Cape boxing and maintained the provinces status as a top boxing destination bar to none in the country.
Siviwe Hasheni bt Nkqubela Gwazela, SD 8Rnds, Jnr Featherweight
Bongani Mfundisi bt Siyabulela Khupiso, UD 6Rnds, Strawweight
Zukile Matyumza bt Ntobeko Duma, MD 6Rnds, Jnr Bantamweight