Just three months after claiming the SA Junior Lightweight title, Sibusiso Zingange was forced to relinquish his belt as a dislocated shoulder ended his bout against Lunga Sitemela at ESPN Africa Boxing 17.
Zingange had won the title in February, also at Africa Boxing, and was on his way to defending his crown on Thursday in Johannesburg, but the dislocation in the ninth round saw him unable to continue, giving Sitemela the TKO victory, and the belt.
Zingange had seemed to be edging what was a very tightly contested fight. He led with his jab from the opening bell and was quicker to land the telling punches. Sitemela kept up a ruthless pace, but Zingange looked comfortable as he danced around the ring and picked his shots.
In the ninth round he threw a left-handed punch that resulted in his left shoulder dislocating, and left him defenseless. Despite frantic efforts from his corner after the round, to try and put his shoulder back in place, Zingange simply couldn't answer the bell to the 10th round.
The loss sees Zingange (17W-6L-2D) unable to defend his title at the first attempt, while Sitemela (14W-1L-0D) remains unbeaten.
Simwaka crowned new IBF Bantamweight champion
The co-main event saw Malawian Ellen Simwaka (10W-5L-2D) crowned the new female IBF Africa Bantamweight champion, beating South Africa's Sharadene Fortuin (13W-2L-1D) via split decision (98-91, 94-95, 95-94) over 10 rounds.
The fight was underlined by the relentless pace set by Simwaka, who was fighting in her second Africa Boxing event of the year. The Malawian made life difficult for Fortuin, who struggled to find her rhythm.
The South African, however, did not back down and let her fists fly as she tried to find technique. The first four rounds were a slugfest, with neither fighter giving an inch.
The middle rounds saw Fortuin box smarter as she moved around the ring and choose her shots. Still, Simwaka would not let up and she found an extra gear in the latter rounds.
In the ninth, a straight right from the Malawian put Fortuin on the deck. She answered the count, but that knockdown made the difference on the scorecards.
Ngoy beats Cele in slugfest
The main card opened with a scintillating Welterweight bout, and arguably the fight of the night, with DRC's Lence Ngoy (3W-1L-0L) beating South Africa's Phumelele Cele (1W-1L-0D) via split decision (38-37, 36-40, 38-37) over four rounds.
The fight started with Cele unloading massive left-hooks which landed regularly, but Ngoy showed true grit as he took punch after punch. It was more of the same in the second.
It all changed in the third when a right-hand from Ngoy sent the South African to the canvas. Cele quickly popped back to his feet, but he was on the floor again for the second time later in the round, after a powerful left-hook from Ngoy. To his credit, Cele got back up and finished the round.
The fourth saw Ngoy keep up the pressure and he deservedly earned the third win of his career while Cele suffered his first professional loss.
Magnificent Mukala with TKO win
The third bout on the main card was a display of world-class boxing from DRC's Patrick Mukala (13W-2L-1D), who stopped his countryman Jimmy Mabundji (13W-6L-0D) in the third round of their Super Middleweight fight.
Mukala dominated from the opening bell with his magnificent left-hand leading the way as he landed jab after jab after jab. Mabundji had no answer, and was lucky to make it through the first two rounds.
In the third, Mukala threw a devastating right hook, which sent his opponent to the canvas. Mabundji got up but Mukala was quickly on him again, sending the former stumbling thanks to some thunderous straight rights.
Mabundji's corner saw the writing on the wall and threw in the towel two minutes and 46 seconds into the round.
Patrick Mukala knocks out Jimmy Manunji in the 3rd round
Patrick Mukala delivers a vicious right blow as he knocks out Jimmy Manunji in the third round.
Main Card results:
- Lence Ngoy wins by split decision over Phumelele Cele (38-37, 36-40, 38-37)
- Darren Rossouw wins by unanimous decision over Welcome Malumbu (59-55, 60-55, 60-58)
- Patrick Mukala wins by TKO over Jimmy Mabundji (2 min, 46 sec in round 3)
- Ellen Simwaka wins by split decision over Sharadene Fortuin (98-91, 94-95, 95-94)
- Lunga Sitemela wins by TKO over Sibusiso Zingange (round 10)
- Lopez Maluleke wins by unanimous decision over Koena Mokoena (39-37, 40-36, 40-36)
ESPN Africa Boxing airs on ESPN (DStv 218, Starsat 248) in Africa, and on SABC Sport and selected international broadcasters, including ESPN across Latin America.