Perez Upsets Mabuza - by Ron Jackson
Yohnny Perez of Colombia came from
behind to score a dramatic twelfth
round stoppage win over South African
Silence Mabuza in their IBF bantamweight
title eliminator at the
Springs Indoor Arena.
Mabuza (53.06kg) was less than two
minutes away from victory when Perez
(53.40kg) caught him with a stunning
right to the jaw followed up by a stiff
jab that dropped the South African to the canvas.
He managed to beat the count but
was on wobbly legs when another barrage
of punches sent him staggering
across the ring as American referee Kenny Chevallier stepped in to wave the
fight off at 1 minute 6 seconds into the
The stoppage appeared a little premature but Mabuza’s legs
were gone and he would
probably not have seen
out the round anyway.
Going into the final
round Mabuza possibly
had a two point advantage
after being the aggressor
for long periods
in the fight as he scored
to the body working at
However, the taller
Perez turned out to be a
brilliant counter-puncher who landed most of the telling punches
during one of the best fights seen in
South Africa in recent years.
With the altitude and the home crowd
on his side, Mabuza tried to turn on the
pressure but through his leaky defence he took too many punches as he went
after the Colombian.
Pacing became a crucial aspect in later
rounds and it was Perez who showed
more ring craft. He also did most of the damage as the South African’s face
began to puff up even though he was more economical with his punches.
However, the ending was rather unexpected
Perez, who now qualifies to challenge for the IBF bantamweight belt improved his record to 19-0, with 14 knockouts. Mabuza dropped to 22-3; 18.
The judges were Franco Ciminale
(Italy), Alfred Buqwana ((SA) and Wally
The undercard was rather poor as out
of a scheduled 66 minutes of boxing in
four fights that all ended inside the distance the fans only got 17 minutes and
13 seconds of action.
Junior middleweight: Michael van
Heerden beat David Mngcombolo, tko
2; Junior welterweight:
Memela beat Mxolisi
ko 1; Junior lightweight:
Warren Joubert beat Norman Tshisakhawe, tko 3; Bantamweight: Thami
Mbonani beat Anele Goci, ko 1.