Simpiwe Vetyeka made a stunning return to the win column, knocking out Thompson Mokwana in the eighth round at the Orient Theatre in East London on Friday night to win the vacant WBO Africa lightweight title.
This was Mokwana’s second bid to win that belt. He fought Namibia’s Paulus Moses for it back in 2016, losing via unanimous decision. But the 32-year-old South African bounced back with two straight wins before taking on compatriot Vetyeka. The latter was coming off a disputed majority decision loss to Lerato Dlamini last October. At 37, it was assumed the old vet had was far closer to retirement than he was his prime.
Instead, both Vetyeka and Mokwana turned back the clock in this exciting affair. Vetyeka used his jab and ring IQ to control the action. Mokwana was game but always a step behind. The end came swiftly in the eighth and Vetyeka upped his attack. A volley of combinations, capped off by a crunching right upstairs, introduced Mokwana to the bout. He remained on his knees for the full 10-count. Official time was 2:21.
Vetyeka now has a new leash on his career and a bevy of career options. He moves to 30-4 (18 KOs). Mokwana’s record now stands at 23-12-2 (12 KOs)
On the undercard, Yanga Sigqibo retained his South Africa super flyweight title with a 12-round unanimous decision win over Sabelo Ngebinyana.
It was Sigqibo’s first defense of the title he won last September against Lindile Tshemese, whom he also defeated by 12-round unanimous decision. Ngebinyana was simply overmatched. Sigqibo used his fast hands and feet to keep his foe off-balance, utilizing the entire ring each round.
A right hand in the sixth introduced Ngebinyana to the canvas. He rose quickly but the bout, for all intent purposes, was over. Sigqibo cruised the rest of the way, winning on all three cards by scores of 118-109, 117-11 and 116-112.
Sigqibo moves to 10-1-1 (3 KOs). Ngebinyana drops to 10-3 (8 KOs).