Friday night, October 6, saw three World Boxing Federation (WBF) championship fights take place, one in Buenos Aires, Argentina and two in Bloemfontein, South Africa. And the fans watching from ringside enjoyed plenty of drama in all three bouts.
In Argentina, at the Club Atletico Almirante Brown, local hero Alan Emmanuel Castano remained undefeated and captured the vacant WBF South America Middleweight title with a sixth round technical knockout of former Brazilian national Champion Gilberto Pereira dos Santos.
Promoted by Los Rodriguez Boxing Promotions, and televised live by TNT Sports, the fight was entertaining and lively from the first round, but with Castano often coming out on top of the exchanges. Eventually he landed the finishing shots on Pereira dos Santos, and referee Martin Carnevale Sosa waved it off at 2:58 of round six.
The 24-year-old new WBF Champion improved his impressive professional ledger to 13-0 (8), and Peirera dos Santos drops to 14-7 (10).
The double-header in South Africa had former WBF International Super Welterweight Champion Frans Ramabolu headlining, as he moved up two weight classes to take on late replacement Xolani Mvubu for the vacant WBF International title at Super Middleweight.
And despite getting the assignment at very short notice, Mvubu (31) almost pulled off the upset as he started the fight very strong, out-boxing the younger favourite from his southpaw stance, and even knocking Ramabolu (29) down in the third round.
But Ramabolu beat the count of referee Simon Mokabi, and overcame the shaky start. From round four he put gruelling pressure on Mvubu, who quickly felt the pace and started to fade before retiring between the fifth and sixth round.
At the time of stoppage Mvubu, who falls to 14-12-2 (5), was ahead on two cards, 49-45 and 48-46, while the third tally was even at 47-47. Now a two-time WBF International Champion, Johannesburg´s Ramabolu improved his professional record to 9-3 (4).
In a clash for the vacant WBF Womens Intercontinental Bantamweight Championship, 2016 South African Prospect of the Year Melissa Miller, now 5-7-3 (2), battled to a ten round draw against 20-year-old Malawian Ellen Simwaka, 6-2-1 (4), leaving the title without a new owner.
After a wonderful back-and-forth encounter, Judge Simon Mokabi scored the fight 96-94 for the visitor, Judge Ben Ncapayi had it 96-95 for Miller, and Judge Fred Makhatani saw it all even at 95-95. Referee in charge was Phumeza Zinakile.
Promoter for the event was Lebo Mahoko and his Dream Team Promotions.