Rowan Campbell put on an aggressive display to beat Rendon Hobyani on points to claim the vacant SA super-middleweight championship at Emperors Palace on Friday night.
Campbell refused to be side-tracked as he went on the attack, stalking his opponent and throwing punches to better effect.
Hobyani had his moments, but he opted in the main to throw lazy jabs and wild punches. The irony is that he can fight – he just chose not to.
That two of the judges had Campbell narrowly winning was absurd – 114-113, 115-113 – but the third had it bang on with a 116-111 card.
Just as well Campbell put Hobyani over with a heavy shot in the 11th; he’d have eked it otherwise.
Fighting with a high guard, Campbell asserted his strength early, crowding Hobyani who opted to tie him up rather than use his longer arms and jab. It was a style that frustrated Campbell, but he chose to press the action rather than be disheartened.
Demonstrating good upper body movement, Campbell paced himself well and showed effective ring management, impressive given that this was just his eighth pro fight.
There were few highlights, although Campbell threw a peach of an overhand right in the 10th that crashed into Hobyani’s jaw and thrilled the large crowd.
He came close to a knockout in the next round, but Hobyani’s pride got him up in time and he was content to backpedal his way out of further trouble.
In the main undercard bout, Wade Groth claimed the interim SA middleweight championship with a sixth-round TKO of Wynand Mulder.
Groth took his time and carefully dissected southpaw Mulder, who began to bust up in the third and had no answer to Groth’s combinations and heavy right hand.
Given that Keaton Gomes spent the better part of six months in camp, he probably expected more than 90-odd seconds of action against Moses Bila in their cruiserweight contest.
Trouble was, Gomes has heavy hands and Bila’s chin isn’t cut out for this business. Gomes, looking fit and strong, put him over with the first right hand he threw.
Bila got up, only to be sent south again with another clipping right hand. For good measure, Gomes landed another, forcing the referee’s intervention for a first-round TKO win.
Earlier, Sebastiaan Rothmann’s junior-welterweight, Jabulani Makhense, looked excellent in winning his four-rounder in a shutout over Siya Mabena.
And southpaw Jay Jay Sonjica continued the bright start to his pro career with a first-round blowout of Deon Mbumbana, who never saw the heavy straight left hand that put him to sleep.
Meanwhile, an impressive R67 000 was raised for the Reach for a Dream foundation through an auction of three prized items.
African News Agency