Malinga retains WBC International bantamweight title

26.08.07 - By Colin Nathan: Southpaw, Vusi Malinga stayed on course for his proposed “World” title challenge against Japans WBC Champion, Hozumi Hasegawa, when he knocked out Alberto Rossel from Peru in the 5th round at the Nasrec Indoor Sports Complex in Gauteng, South Africa.

Rossel, from Peru, came into this country with a good reputation of mixing in world class opposition, but that was at mini-flyweight to flyweight in those respective divisions. Looking no more than a flyweight coming into this fight, he had only been stopped once and that was in 2000 as a mini-flyweight against former IBF mini-fly champion, Daniel Reyes in 4 rounds. Of his last 9 fights he had won 8, including 4 stoppages.

Malinga on the other hand, who is currently rated no.4 by the WBC, was coming off a disputed draw against Jerope Mercado, also in a defense of his WBC INT title.

The size was obvious and it was Malinga who was nearly a head taller than Rossel.

The first round, I scored even with Rossel having success with catching Malinga with wild hooks over the top and Malinga trying to establish his southpaw jab.

The second round saw Malinga settling down nicely with his jab and was connecting with some nice crisp combination punching. Rossel during this round was still loading up, looking for those wide hooks that connected Malinga in the first round.

Going into the 3rd round it soon became clear that Rossel was no bantamweight and the size and strength of Malinga was starting to take its toll on him, although Malinga was still a little too stationary and was being caught by the occasional hook to the head from Rossel.

Round 4 saw Malinga backing Rossel up and completely outworking him, going into the 5th round Malinga decided to up the pace and was putting pressure on Rossel when a hard straight left hand to the top of Rossel’s head dropped him for a 8 count.

I did not think that Rossel would get up, but he did and tried to push the action, but another combination from Malinga starting with another straight left hand followed by a right uppercut put Rossel down again.

This time he did not beat the count.

All in all, Malinga looked better on this performance than he did in his last contest, still he needs to tighten up his defense and use more body sway and head movement.

Malinga goes to 16(9kos)-2-1, while Rossel drops to 18(8kos)-7 with 1 no-contest.

On the under-card, Evans Mbamba retained his WBC International Super-flyweight title with an 11th round TKO over Pedro Cardenas from Chile in his maiden defense of this title.

Article posted on 27.08.2007

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