Fuzile defends successfully IBF title in PE

Young pugilist decides to box on back-foot instead of going for jugular

PREMIUM

Azinga Fuzile proved his world class credentials when he successfully defended his IBF Intercontinental junior lightweight title against Mexican Romulo Koasicha on points at the Nangoza Jebe in New Brighton, Port Elizabeth, on Sunday.
Fuzile had not gone the distance since 2017, having won his last five bouts by stoppages and was expected to stop the seven-loss visitor.
And in the first round he appeared headed for an early afternoon when he decked Koasicha with a picture perfect uppercut.
But after that he took his foot off the pedal and appeared content to cruise to a decision win.
His dominance was reflected by the lopsided judges’ scores with two of them giving him a total shut out of 119-108 while the third turned in a 118-109 tally.
While Fuzile was expected to take the fight to the visitor, he opted to box on the back-foot giving Koasicha an opportunity to come forward.
This was where the 22-year-old Duncan Village boxer showcased his defensive wizardry.
At times he simply stood his ground and used his shoulder roll to avoid the Mexican’s punches.
By round two, Fuzile was still in control, thrilling the crowd with stinging punches to Koasicha's face that quickly turned red.
Koasicha, who had not fought since March last year going to the fight, showed his rustiness as his punches lacked venom.
Instead he would pitty-patty without doing any damage. That was where Fuzile was expected to take full advantage by pressing the action.
But the Duncan Village southpaw opted to play around the ring, even delving into clowning.
At times the fight resembled a sparring session with Fuzile totally enjoying himself.
The fight followed a similar pattern with Fuzile dancing around while Koasicha adopting an ineffective aggression.
It was only in round eight that Fuzile stood at the centre of the ring and landed punches to the body.
This seemed to negate Koasicha’s aggression with his punch output ebbing significantly.
But once again Fuzile took off his foot from the pedals seemingly content to box to a decision. This even though the Mexican appeared dazzled as the fight went on.
Fuzile is expected to challenge IBF champion Tevin Farmer but if his performance against Koasicha is a yardstick he would be well advised to get yet another warm-up bout before going for the jugular.
In a bout that was expected to be a grudge rematch, Phila Mpontshane again retained his SA junior lightweight crown when he beat Koos Sibiya.
The fight was a Boxing SA ordered rematch following their July 2018 bout which outcome in favour of Mpontshane was challenged by the Sibiya camp.
The bout failed to rise to any interest with both boxers content to pose rather than punch.
Scores were 116-112, 115-113 and 119-109 in favour of Mdantsane’s Mpontshane.
Other results: Ayabonga Sonjica TKO 8 Asiphe Ntshili for the SA vacant ABU Junior featherweight title, Luyanda Ntwanambi TKO 4 Xolisile Voyi (flyweight)...

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