Red-hot Mdantsane prospect Thulani Mbenge moved to nine stoppages in as many bouts when he pummeled Ntuthuko Memela of KwaZulu-Natal into submission in their welterweight clash at Emperors Palace at the weekend.
Mbenge, a former amateur star, wasted no time in getting down to business as his missile-like punches reduced Memela into defensive mode.
Mbenge, who is now based in Johannesburg, under Sean and Peter Smith brothers, continued to apply pressure on the outgunned opponent.
After a volley of punches in the second round, Memela went down but managed to beat the count but could not stem the tide of the fusillade coming his way.
Mbenge upped the tempo in the third round when he rained down a punch salvo. The fight was stopped to give the Mdantsane-born his ninth stoppage win in as many bouts.
In his previous clash at the same venue, Mbenge picked up the African Boxing Union welterweight crown when he bludgeoned DRC boxer Eric Kapia Mukadi into his first professional loss.
Mbenge, who narrowly lost out to Duncan Village boxer Azinga Fuzile, for the prospect of the year award is now gunning for the SA crown held by Sean Ness.
Judging by his red hot form, it will also be a matter of time before he adds Ness to his soaring list of knockout victims.
This especially as Ness could only fight to a draw against Memela who came to the Mbenge fight with a reputation of beating up East London boxers such as Sikhulule Sidzumo and Mawande Kakaza. Memela also holds the status of stopping once feared knockout artist, Philip Ndou.
In the main bout Hekkie Budler continued with his winning ways when he scored an eighth-round stoppage over Filipino Joey Canoy to seize the vacant IBO junior flyweight belt.
Budler was fighting for the second time since his disappointing defeat to unheralded Nicaraguan Bryon Rojas to whom he surrendered his WBA super and IBO mini-flyweight titles.
After getting a rust-shaking win over Duncan Village’s Siyabonga Siyo in the junior flyweight division, Budler then went after the IBO crown which he once held.
There were concerns that Canoy could upset the apple cart especially when the Filipino visitor started strongly.
But once the Hexecutioner hit top gear, there was no stopping him as he dropped Canoy in the seventh round, forcing him to quit.
Budler regained the IBO he once held before dropping down to mini-flyweight where he had most of his boxing success as he was considered the best boxer in the world.
Other results saw Kevin Lerena continue with his good form when he made Namibian Vikapita Meroro quit in the fifth round.
Fresh from winning the Cruiserweight Super Four series, Lerena seemed to be on track to staking his claim in the talent-laden cruiserweight division although Meroro cannot be described as a world-class opponent.
Ryno Liebenberg failed to use his home advantage to exact revenge on Enrico Kölling who beat him in controversial circumstances in Germany.
This time the German controlled the proceedings en route to a unanimous decision to probably end Liebenberg’s world title aspirations. — DDR