Boxing: Third Fight-Nothing Changes!

02.10.07- By Colin Nathan-Orient Theatre-East London - I called it the “Soap Opera” of South African Boxing, when Irvin Buhlalu defended his South African Lightweight for the third time against Challenger, Benedict Dlamini. All their fights have had some sort of controversy, the first fight ending with only two minutes gone in the last round, and Buhlalu winning on a close decision.

Dlamini’s trainer, Nick Durandt, writing a compliant to Boxing South Africa, and them in turn granting Dlamini a rematch.

The second fight was considered to be one of the worst boxing decisions ever rendered in a South African ring, with many fans believing that Dlamini thoroughly deserved the decision, but Buhlalu winning on a split decision.

This last Friday nights fight, was supposed to be a conclusive ending to all the controversy surrounding their two previous fights. But again a split decision victory for the defending champion, Buhlalu, with many people including (obviously) Dlamini’s camp and many boxing fans around ringside.

Defending his title for the 6th time, Buhlalu started like a house on fire, using good lateral movement and a good jab to out smart the challenger who was forcing the action, trying to get on the inside.

This was the pattern of the fight for the first three rounds.

In the 4th round it was Dlamini who came alive and started hurting the champion with some good shots to the body, it was quite alarming to note, that already at this stage, Buhlalu’s mouth was wide open and it seemed that it was no way possible that he would make the 12 rounds of this championship fight, but give him credit he made it, but only just.

The fight going into the 5th round all the way through to the last was a very difficult fight to score, you had Dlamini, who was clearly in better shape, pushing forward throwing lots of punches, but very few of them landing cleanly.

Dlamini was also guilty of not cutting off the ring and smothering his punches and allowed Buhlalu to constantly tie him up at every given opportunity.

You then had the champion, scoring with the more effective punches and would then tie the challenger up.

By the 6th round already the referee, Lulama Mtya, had warned Buhlalu about 5 times about the holding and could have taken a point away, but never did.

The fight was scored 114-115 twice for the champion and one way for the challenger at 115-114, which indicates that it was a closely contested fight.

For what its worth, I scored it 115-115.

Buhlalu sees his record go to 24wins(14kos)-5-1 and the challenger, Dlamini dips to 20wins(8kos) and 5losses.

I pray that I NEVER see these two men ever fight each other again, and that the “Soap Opera” has finally ended.

Article posted on 01.10.2007

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