Fana regains IBF junior lightweight title
Mzonke Fana won a vacant junior lightweight title with an easy
unanimous decision over fellow South African Cassius Baloyi on
The 36-year-old Fana regained the IBF version of the title he
lost to Baloyi in April 2008 at the Carnival City casino in
Brakpan, near Johannesburg. The belt had been vacated by Robert
Guerrero when he couldn’t defend it against Fana in February.
All three judges scored the fight in lopsided fashion for Fana:
119-109, 119-110 and 118-110. He improved to 30-4, while Baloyi
dropped to 37-5-1.
”I couldn’t see out of my right eye. I was just surviving from
the second round,” Baloyi said. ”I just didn’t have any power
today. I don’t know what happened.”
Fana rendered Baloyi’s height and reach advantage irrelevant as
he constantly backed his 35-year-old opponent onto the ropes,
scoring with sharp hooks and stinging uppercuts. Baloyi’s right eye
was already closing in the second round, three uppercuts shook him
in the seventh and he was clinging on by the time the eighth round
came to an end.
By the 11th round, the only South African fighter to win six
world titles was a shadow of his former self. Fana continued to
launch punishing attacks, and the sluggish Baloyi offered only
occasional left jabs in reply.
Baloyi won his first world title in 1995 and has now fought in
23 world title bouts – more than any other South African fighter –
but acknowledged he may be finished.
”I will have to go home and take it from there,” he said.
On the undercard, Moruti Mthalane retained his IBF flyweight
title with a fifth-round knockout of Zolani Tete in another
all-South African bout on the ”African Glory” card.
Mthalane sent Tete stumbling into the ropes with a big right
hand in the second round, and he took control of the fight when he
knocked his opponent down early in the fifth.
Tete made the count, but Mthalane immediately launched another
attack with left and right hooks that sent the inexperienced
challenger slumping to his knees. Tete rose again, but the referee
finally stopped the fight when he couldn’t defend himself in the