Phuzi too good for Thompson in rematch

2018-04-30 14:47

South Africa’s up-and-coming boxing promoter, Sandile Xaka of Supreme Boxing Promotions, has promised to continue staging tournaments to revive the sport in the suburbs.

He revealed this to City Press after a successful tournament at the Blairgowrie Recreation Centre last Sunday.

“We are trying to revive boxing in the suburbs, and this is our third year hosting a tournament in this area,” said Xaka.

Xaka, a two-time BSA nominee for the Most Promising Promoter Award, said he was happy with the good turnout at the event. He said he hopes to grow the tournament and eventually stage major South African title fights.

“Our aim is to stage international title fights for respectable bodies such as the World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association.”

Veteran trainer Gert Strydom said while he was disappointed by the loss of his charge Chris “The Wolf” Thompson, who was knocked out through the ropes by his opponent Akani “The Prime” Phuzi in their fight for the Gauteng Cruiserweight title, it was not the end of the road.

Strydom said the plan was to slowly build Thompson towards a world title fight. Part of the plan was to let him spar with the likes of International Boxing Organisation World Cruiserweight champion Kevin Lerena.

A dazed Thompson failed to get up after being knocked down by a heavy right hook from Phuzi in the second round, and referee Tony Nyangiwe counted him out.

“My corner warned Phuzi was going to come with an over right and I should keep my guard up, but I made a mistake,” Thompson said this week.

The loss brings his record to five wins and two losses.

“Chris failed to keep to the game plan and let his guard down,” Strydom said.

On the same bill, junior bantamweight Sikho Nqothole from Soweto gave an excellent, consistent full six-round performance, winning on points to improve his record to nine victories with no losses. He beat Immanuel Joseph of Namibia, who now stands at 11 wins and three losses.

In the rematch, Phuzi proved his worth to the crowd by winning for the second time.

Weighing in at 89.80kg, Thompson was the leaner of the two pugilists. He threw a constant jab from the first round while the boxers were feeling each out, but that did not seem to bother Akani, who came in at 90.40kg, even when Thompson briefly shook him with a heavy jab towards the end of first round.

Phuzi capitalised on Thomson’s poor defence and caught him on the chin with a right hook, dropping him in one minute 11 seconds in the second round.

“I did anticipate the knockout but not so soon,” an excited Phuzi told City Press in his change room after the bout.

“I knew I was ready.”

Phuzi, who fights out of trainer Alan Toweel’s Linden-based gym, proved to be the crowd favourite at this event.

Toweel said his fighter would soon be seen in a warm-up fight in Swaziland.

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March 17 2019