In possibly one of the poorest decisions in recent years, Innocent Mantengu from KwaZulu Natal won the vacant South African junior-featherweight title on a split decision over Thato Bonokoane of Gauteng at the Kagiso Memorial Hall and Recreation Centre in Kagiso on the West Rand on Friday night.
Judges Thabo Spampool and Namhla Tyluba scored it 115-113 for Mantengu, and judge Mfundo Mvandaba was closer to the mark with a score of 116-112 for Bonokoane.
In a better fight than their first encounter in March, there was very little in it in the opening round.
However, in round two Bonokoane (54.90kg) scored with big right hands to the head and, through rounds four, five and six, backed up the southpaw Mantengu (55.20kg) to win the rounds.
Mantengu came back to shade rounds six and seven but it was Bonokoane who was the better fighter through the last five rounds as he crowed his tiring opponent.
Referee Tony Nyangiwe did a fine job in handling an entertaining fight.
Mantengu improved his record to 13-4-1; 5 and Bonokoane’s record dropped 9-2-3; 5.
The records were taken from Boxrec.
DLADLA WINS VACANT GAUTENG TITLE
On the undercard, Simon Dlada won the vacant Gauteng junior-middleweight title with a unanimous ten round points decision over Linda Ntshingila.
The scores were 99-91 and 98-92 twice.