April 22, 2018


SA boxer wins second world title

Blow by blow ... Tsiko ‘Cruel Junior’ Mulovhedzi wins second world title

Blow by blow … Tsiko ‘Cruel Junior’ Mulovhedzi wins second world title

New Boxing Federation International (IBF) champion Tsiko ‘Cruel Junior’ Mulovhedzi has dedicated the title, his second, to his late father whom he said he had proud and would therefore rest in peace.

Ratshilumela ‘Cruel Senior’ Mulovhedzi, the man who was a source of inspiration for the Thohoyandou boxer, died in November at the age of 102. His death came at a time when his son held the International Boxing Organisation (IBO) welterweight championship belt.
‘Cruel Junior’ believes he appeased his departed mentor by winning the IBF championship belt after beating Italian Dario Socci by a unanimous point’s decision to lift the vacant title last Friday in Mangaung.

“I have not been able to sleep peacefully since my dad passed away. He has been nagging me in my dreams, begging me to do him a favour by winning another world crown for him. His demand made me very restless.

I am happy that I have fulfilled his wish by winning the IBF crown, and his spirit will now hopefully rest in peace,” said Mulovhedzi when asked how he felt about his victory.

The bout got off to an intense start in front of a vociferous crowd with Mulovhedzi unloading fierce punches to keep the aggressive visitor at bay. However, Socci retaliated with equally vicious body punches to keep Mulovhedzi back but the South African showed a superior work rate putting his left-right combination that he’s known for to use – which worked in his favour.

Not to be outdone, both warriors went toe to toe at each other in an attempt to score maximum points in each round but Mulovhedzi stood his ground as he continued to edge the visitor in each round.

As the match drew to an end, the intensity between the two adversaries strengthened and a Socci uppercut landed correctly, leaving Mulovhedzi cut above the right eye forcing him to fight with caution as he could not see due to the dripping blood. He returned the favour with a head-butt which led to blood dripping from Socci’s face.

In round 8-10 Cruel Junior showed his intent by dictating the pace as he blasted the visitor’s body, forcing him to the ropes, much to the approval of the fans. The results were the same in the last round which proved to be the toughest for the Italian who seemed to have run out of steam.

It came as no surprise as the three judges, Neville Hotz, Jacobus van Niewenhuizen and Sylvia Mokaila, scored the bout 115-113, 114-113, and 117-112 in favour of Mulovhedzi.

In other bouts, Makazole Tete beat Cletus Mbele (points, featherweight, six rounds); Siphosethu Zingela beat Mokoena Nkopane (points, junior bantamweight, four rounds); and Nhlanhla Ngamtwini beat Motswake Moselesele (points, junior bantamweight, six rounds).

The match-ups were brought by Xaba Promotions and Events in partnership with the Free State Provincial Government.

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