Fernando Daniel Martinez upsets Athenkosi Dumezweni; Nkosinathi Joyi’s comeback rolls on
Former Olympian and junior bantamweight Fernando Daniel Martinez, of Argentina, got his first significant win as a pro, stopping Athenkosi Dumezweni at 23 seconds into the 11th round in East London, South Africa, on Monday afternoon. It was an all-out war that had several shifts in momentum.
Dumezweni was coming off a recent win over one-time John Riel Casimero conqueror Jonas Sultan, so it was hardly surprising that he was a slight favorite, having fought the better competition in the professional ranks.
Martinez came out aggressively from the opening bell. Fighting in a crouch, he took some southpaw lefts from Dumezweni but when he nailed Dumezweni with a short right, the South African went down. He regained his footing but Martinez staggered him again with more rights as the bell rang.
From the second round, Dumezweni started clawing his way back into the fight, establishing the distance with his jab and landing straight lefts and the odd uppercut on the move. A snappy one-two, followed by a right hook and a straight left to the body in the third round had the crowd rallying behind the local man. Dumezweni had a good round four when a right uppercut appeared to drop Martinez but the referee ruled it a slip. Martinez kept pushing but Dumezweni managed to open a cut above the Argentinean’s right eye. Dumezweni was dominating the fight at long range, while Martinez had the better of the infighting.
In the fifth, Dumezweni landed a great right uppercut-left hook combination and although Martinez kept rallying back with power punches on the inside, the South African seemed to be edging the fight. Dumezweni had a big round seven, picking the advancing Martinez off from the outside.
Then just as he appeared to be in control of the fight, Dumezweni started to deflate in the eighth when Martinez staged a strong rally, ripping hooks to the body and head. A right-left hook-right uppercut combination from Martinez in the ninth staggered the South African and Martinez was pushing him onto the ropes and into the corners, working him over. Martinez send Dumezweni down again in the 10th with a right but was penalized a point for landing some glancing blows as Dumezweni slumped to the canvass. Dumezweni got up but the writing was on the wall. Martinez was landing vicious combinations when the bell rang.
At the start of the 11th, Martinez trapped Dumezweni in the corner and kept punching until his opponent sank to the canvas, forcing the stoppage to score the victory.
Dumezweni drops to 12-3 (with 8 knockouts) while Martinez moves to 11-0 (with 7 KOs).
It looks like Fernando Daniel Martinez is for real.
It was up to Nkosinathi Joyi, who took on Filipino Joey Canoy, in a strawweight 12-rounder on the same card, to save face for the South Africans in a battle of southpaws. He did so in style, prevailing by unanimous scores of 117-111, 119-109 and 117-112.
Joey Canoy is well known in South Africa for giving Hekkie Budler a tough fight in a losing effort and dropping Simpiwe Konkco heavily before the fight resulted in a no-contest. Hence there were more than a few people who thought this would be the end of the road for the former IBF 105-pound titleholder.
Their fears were unfounded, as Joyi was in fine form against the dangerous Canoy, boxing well behind his thudding jab and trademark combinations to the body with a straight left thrown in for good measure.
Although he struggled to win rounds, Canoy was always in the fight, landing some hard right hooks following by his straight left. He started the fifth with a big rally but Joyi simply took a step back, regrouped and went back in, outworking and outfighting Canoy with his superior technique and work rate. The crowd was on their feet, chanting and singing during a terrific round.
Canoy landed another good right hook in the fifth but Joyi simply bit down on his mouthpiece and responded by throwing more back at Canoy, rocking the gutsy Filipino with a combination to the head and body at the end of the seventh.
Canoy had his best round in the eighth when he found some spring in his legs and punched on the fly. He even had Joyi on his heels with a straight left-right hook combination in the ninth but Joyi still kept coming back stronger. Both exchanged big shots in the final round but Joyi had banked too many rounds by then and was just the better, busier man on this evening.
At the age of 36, the unlikely comeback of Nkosinathi Joyi continues. He now moves to 29-5-1 (with 19 KOs) while the crowd pleasing Canoy drops to 15-4-1 (with 8 KOs).
Siyakholwa Kuse became the new South African strawweight champion by stopping defending beltholder Sibusiso Bandla at the 2:19 mark in the fifth round.
It was Kuse’s second attempt at national honors after dropping a razor-thin decision to Xolisa Magusha in his first attempt earlier this year. (Bandla subsequently took the title from Magusha.) This time he would not be denied.
The fight got off to a fast start with neither fighter hesitating to exchange power punches. The pair went tit-for-tat in the second round, trading right hooks with each other. Kuse was just a little faster and sharper than Bandla, finding a home for his straight right in the third and by the fourth, it was clear that he was starting to pick off Bandla landing his shots and getting out.
In the fifth, a straight right from Kuse put Bandla flat on his back. He made it back to his feet but he continued to take a shellacking and it was a relief when trainer Welcome Ncita tossed the towel into the ring, forcing referee Siya Vabaza Booi to stop the fight.
Kuse, who has really been thrown into the deep end in his pro career, improves to 3-1-1 (with two KOs), likewise for Bandla, who is now 4-1-1 (with 2 KOs). Time will tell whether the emerging trend of fast-tracking promising amateurs’ pro careers, Vasiliy Lomachenko-style, will work out for better or worse.
Emmany “The General” Kalombo marches on, stopping Ghana’s Daniel Lartey at 2:12 of the seventh round in a junior middleweight bout, bringing his record to 14-0 (with 14 KOs).
It was an improved, more thoughtful version of Kalombo, who had to work hard against a tough, cagey opponent. He started out boxing patiently behind his jab, switching levels with it, while Lartey circled the ring, landing left hooks to the body and head in the second round.
They didn’t faze the South African-based Congolese warrior, who replied with a huge right in the third which sent Lartey’s head snapping back. Somehow Lartey stayed upright and Kalombo stepped on the gas in the fourth, switching his attack to the body, where he appeared to hurt Lartey with a left uppercut. In the fifth, a series of short rights rocked Lartey along the ropes but he stubbornly refused to go down, even as Kalombo kept pounding him with combinations in the sixth.
When Kalombo landed a left hook, left uppercut and a straight right in succession, referee Deon Dwarte had seen enough and stopped the fight. Lartey, who now drops to 14-3-1 (with 12 KOs), complained but his effort was futile and one can’t argue with the stoppage.
This was another quality tournament presented by Ayanda Matiti of Xaba Promotions.
Landile Ngxeke W 12 Sabelo Ngebinyana (junior bantamweight)
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