Brilliant win for Joyi - by Pete Moscardi
Former IBO straw weight champion, Nkosinathi "Mabere" Joyi stamped his authority in the elevated IBF sanctioning body with a comprehensive one-sided win over the defending and previously unheaten Mexican champion, Raul "Rayito" Garcia over 12 pulsating rounds. This was, in all probability, a title Joyi could have captured three or four years ago. But the patience this diminutive warrior from Mdantsane Township in East London has exercised in waiting for his chance finally paid off, and Joyi did not allow a second of the 12 rounds to go to waste.
The fight on this Branco Sports Productions promotion at the superb and brand new beach front international convention centre represented the perfect match. Both fighters were 27, southpaw and were defending unbeaten records - 28-0-2 (15) in the case of the champion and a pristine 20-0 (16) sheet for the challenger. But the fight told a totally different story as Garcia from La Paz was outthought, outfought and out boxed from the start.
The Mexican's battered features at the end of the 12 one-sided rounds served as a painful reminder that Joyi, who always enters the ring with his giant teddy bear mascot, is in a class of his own. This was emphasized by the wide points margins of the two South African judges, Wally Snowball and Isaac Tshabalala who both had it 119-109 for the home boy, and the 118-110 of their Mexican colleague, Alfredo Polanco. American referee, Earl Mortion, did an excellent job in allowing the fight to flow, but his job was made easy as he did not have a single clinch to break in the entire fight and only had to issue an occasional "keep them up" in response to the rare times a punch accidentally strayed low.
Joyi was quick to establish his dominance over the fight, cracking home a solid straight right to the jaw in the first round which rocked Garcia back on his heels and sent him lurching into the ropes. The champion had been hurt and there was a look in his eyes that indicated that Joyi had got his message across. Joyi took up in the second round where he had left off, and the South African was putting hi combinations together with superb precision. Garcia was consistently being beaten to the punch and was being forced to fight off the back foot. But Garcia as the champion who had come to defend his title, and he was not there to hand it to Joyi on a plate. The Mexican bit down on his gum shield and threw some mean looking combinations to Joyi's body. Joyi stood his ground and the crowd were entertained to some lively exchanges as both slugged it out. But it was Garcia who broke away first from the action.
The challenger was throwing pile-driver combinations to head and body in the fourth and it was obvious he carried both the power and the hand speed to out punch the champion. But Garcia was firing back with both hands - although Joyi frequently made him miss by moving out of range. Garcia's woes intensified in the fifth when a two fisted combination to the head sliced open a cut over his right eye whick bled from that moment on. However it was never the cut that was to be a factor in this fight, it was the crimson blue that Garcia had before his eyes from Joyi's red gloves which were never out of his face.
Joyi had a big sixth round, staggering the champion with his combination punching on four occasions. The pace and the punishment were now telling on Garcia who had slowed up considerably. Garcia fought the last four rounds in survival mode, with his strategy now being entirely defensive. Joyi stalked him around the ring as Garcia went onto the back foot, using the entire perimeter of the ring to keep out of the challenger's range. The packed partisan crown were up on their feet and singing by the 11th round, in full knowledge that they were about to see their hero crowned a champion. Joyi's shut-out victory would have sent a signal to the rest of the sanctioning body's champions that "Mabere" might just be the best fighter at his weight in the world.