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Mbenge stops Vazquez, Mchunu decisions Oosthuizen in rematch

Mbenge (left) and Vazquez. Photo by Dirk Heyns
Fighters Network

Rising welterweight Thulani Mbenge forced former IBF lightweight titlist Miguel Vazquez to retire on his stool between the ninth and 10th rounds at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park, South Africa on Saturday. Stablemate Thabiso Mchunu won a wide unanimous decision to gain revenge over compatriot Thomas Oosthuizen.

Mbenge (15-0, 12 knockouts) put a marker down in the talent-laden 147-pound division when he became only the second man to stop Vazquez (40-7, 15 KOs).

The 27-year-old South African worked the body of his Mexican foe for the first four rounds before stepping off the gas. Vazquez attempted to use his awkward style to fiddle his way through rounds, though was unable to put a dent in the stronger, bigger man. Mbenge responded and got back to work, slowly breaking Vazquez down.

Afterward, promoter Rodney Berman of Golden Gloves announced that Mbenge would be co-promoted by Lou DiBella and make his American debut in the first quarter of 2019.

In a fight billed “Repeat or Revenge,” Mchunu (20-5, 12 KOs) was sharper and more active than Oosthuizen (28-2-2, 16 KOs), repeatedly beating “Tommy Gun” to the punch.

Mchunu won all of the first four rounds on two of the judges scorecards and three on the other scorecard to put himself in the lead. He continued his impressive start and was widely ahead after eight rounds. Mchunu landed the bigger punches, but to Oosthuizen’s enormous credit, he took everything without looking like touching down. However, for all his toughness, he was never in the fight.

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter @AnsonWainwright