South African Super Welterweight Champion Nkululeko Mhlongo added another belt to his collection on Saturday night, August 23, winning the vacant World Boxing Federation (WBF) Intercontinental title with an impressive victory over Sikhulule Sidzumu at Bhisho Stadium in King William’s Town, Eastern Cape.
Sidzumu was game and always dangerous, but the volume of power-punches from the classy Mhlongo eventually culminated in several unasnwered telling blows, which prompted referee Eddie Marshal to correctly call a halt to proceedings in round eight.
Known to his fans as “The Bulldog”, Mhlongo moves to 13-2 (11) and could be close to challenging for world title honours. Sidzumu, a former two-division South African Champion, falls to 18-7-5 (12) and is left pondering how to get his career back on track.
On the same card, up-and-coming Bongani Mlotshwa won his first professional championship, the WBF All Africa Middleweight title, when he defeated late substitute Johannes Pieterson in a bout that was much tougher than expected.
Pieterson gave it his everything, took the fight to Mlotshwa from the first bell, and actually hurt his opponent several times in a furiously paced brawl. The action was back and forth almost constantly, and had the fans on their feet screaming.
But in round ten it was all over, when Mlotshwa landed, according to WBF President Howard Goldberg watching from ringside, one of the finest left hooks seen in many years. Referee Lulama Mtya had no choice but to wave it off, as a massively hurt Pieterson was in no condition to continue.
The heavy-handed Bongani Mlotshwa improved his record to 7-1 (6), and appears to be headed towards a bright future in the sport. Johannes Pieterson, gutsy and game as they come, drops to 10-16-3 (1) but deserves other opportunities based on this performance.