Lusanda Komanisi’s double gamble backfired badly when he was viciously knocked out by unheralded Filipino Jhack Tepora to see his world title aspirations go up in smoke at Orient Theatre in East London at the weekend.
The first gamble was when Komanisi turned down participation in the lucrative Featherweight Super 4 which he had initiated.
This when he called out all featherweight boxers in the land to be pitted against each to prove their supremacy.
After top Johannesburg promoter Rodney Berman had heeded the call by organising the four- men show on October 21 at Emperors Palace, Komanisi suddenly declined to participate, instead going via the world title route.
His promoter Xaba Promotions and Events (XPE) organised the WBO Intercontinental title and managed to find a relatively unknown Filipino in Tepora, who came to the fight at the backdrop of 15 stoppages in 20 bouts without a loss, as his opponent.
However, Komanisi, who struggled to make the featherweight division in his previous fight forcing him to fight in a catchweight when beating Tello Dithebe, insisted on fighting in the division despite XPE’s disapproval.
“I told Komanisi to either go to the junior lightweight or lightweight for that matter,” said XPE boss Ayanda Matiti after the fight.
“But he insisted that he could still make the featherweight so I let him prove himself. Look what has happened now.”
Komanisi’s weight struggle was evident when he failed to turn up to the premedical midweek but attributed his no-show to his refusal to be transported in the same car with the Filipino.
While he managed to beat the scales at the final weigh-in he looked severely drained with this scribe questioning his effectiveness during the fight.
And it all unraveled with the fight only two rounds old when a short right hook by Tepora spectacularly dropped Komanisi as if a rug had been pulled under his legs.
Ever confident in his own power, Komanisi refused to accept the knockdown by taking the eight count on his knees to recover.
Instead he quickly tried to get up only for his legs to betray him as he wobbled alarmingly to the ropes forcing referee Deon Dwarte to call off the fight for a shocking outcome.
Komanisi’s fall from grace was celebrated by a section of Duncan Village of spectators in the hall as well as Berman who immediately sent a message reading: “I am glad Komanisi has paid for his stupidity.”
Komanis has enjoyed a love-hate relationship with local fans after he once accused them of wanting him to fail and vowed never to fight locally again.
He made things worse by calling out Duncan Village favourite Azinga Fuzile after his win over Dithebe.
A section of the fans who were sitting with Fuzile burst out to taunt him as he made his way out of the hall crestfallen.
“Makawe, makaweee, makawe, [loosely translating he must fall],” they chanted.
Matiti said he would take Komanisi to the junior lightweight or even the lightweight.
While it was all gloom in the hall due to Komanisi’s shocking defeat, Yanga Sigqibo used the occasion to dramatically introduced himself to the national boxing scene with a brilliant dominance of Lindile Tshemese to wrest the SA junior bantamweight title.
Given no chance against a seasoned champion like Tshemese, Sigqibo boxed a disciplined fight to outsmart, outhustle and outthink Tshemese.
Other results: Gift Bholo beat Vuyani Masondo on points (ABU junior welterweight title), Fikile Mlonyeni beat Gaveni Nkwenteni on points (jnr fly); Uyanda Nogogo KO 2 Odwa Gaxa (welter); Athi Dumezweni TKO 2 Siphosethu Zingela (jnr bantam); Athenkosi Thongwana beat Nasiphi Ziwani on points.
l Meanwhile in Willowvale, Xolisa Magusha retained his provincial mini-flyweight belt with a second round knockout of Solwethu Sithupa.