Zolani Marali retained his World Boxing Federation (WBF) World Light Welterweight title on Friday night (July 18) at the International Convention Center in East London, South Africa, but only just with a hotly disputed split decision over rugged former world champion Kaiser Mabuza.
Although Marali’s tactics of throwing combinations and then running and holding secured the victory, it made for a boring and messy fight in which at least Mabuza tried to engage without much success.
Eddie Marshall scored the bout 114-112 in favor of Mabuza, but was overruled by judges Alan Matakane and Simphiwe Mbini who had it 115-112 and 115-111 for Marali. The referee was Darryl Ribbink and supervisor Pakamile Jacobs.
Marali, making his second successful defense of the world title, improved his record to 24-5 (13), while Mabuza falls to 25-12-3 (15).
In another WBF title fight, WBA pan African champion Luyanda Nkwankwa put in a terrific performance to comprehensively out point the talented Sibusiso Twani to claim the vacant World Strawweight title.
Judges scores were: Darryl Ribbink 118-111, Lulama Mtya 117-112 and Simphiwe Mbini 115-113. The referee was Eddie Marshall.
Promoter of the WBF double-header was Xaba Boxing Promotions.