Magnificent Mzu Magwaca makes victorious pro boxing comeback

Having taken four years to recover from a gunshot wound sustained in a home invasion, former IBF bantamweight intercontinental champion Mzuvukile Magwaca made a triumphant return at Africa Boxing 16 on Thursday night.

Old Bones, fighting in his first professional bout since the 2018 injury, and only his second bout overall in these four years, sent Sanele Maduna to the canvas in the second round for a KO win.

It was a cagey opening round from both fighters, but a stiff jab and a devasting overhand right from Magwaca one minute into the second round put Maduna out for the count.

It was an incredible effort from Magwaca, who was one of Africa’s brightest prospects four years ago. His limp, so pronounced even years after the shooting, was a thing of the past as he outfoxed Maduna, who recorded his first loss.

Ray retains his title with KO

In the main event, Cowin Ray (8W-0L-0D) made a massive statement in the first defense of his SA super middleweight title, knocking out Andile Mntungwa (6W-4L-1D) in the third round.

The 26-year-old champ was in peak performance and asserted his dominance from round one as he landed an array of shots to both the body and the head.

In the second round, he made his jab felt as he found his distance, and in the third it was goodnight for Mntungwa after a barrage of punches saw the referee bring the fight to a stop two minutes and 58 seconds into the round.

Speaking after the fight, Ray was humble in victory, and courteous to his opponent: “Andile, my hat goes off to you, my respect to you.

“I knew he was going to be a tough competitor because he has never been knocked out before. I was ready for a 12-round world.

“My dream has always to be a champion and I will try defend it as many times as possible.”

Comfortable title defense for Nyangani

The co-main event saw Bangile Nyangani (12W-1L-1D) comfortably defend his SA mini flyweight title, beating Loyiso Ngatweni (10W-15L-5D) via unanimous decision (120-108, 118-110, 118-110) over 12 rounds.

The first round saw both fighters a little tentative, with Nyangani using his jab while Ngatweni went looking for a big knockout punch. The second saw the champ find his rhythm and range as he landed jabs at will.

The third round, though, is where the fight turned as Nyangani absolutely picked his opponent apart, landing countless right hooks to the body, hitting Ngatweni repeatedly, and then occasionally choosing to hit him with a straight right that sent his heading jarring back.

From then on it was all Nyanani as he picked his shots, and kept his opponent missing as the champ retained his title with ease.

Nkosi wins slugfest against Mahlangu

The first bout on the main card was an entertaining slugfest, with Nthetelelo Nkosi (3W-1L-0D) beating Sipho Mahlangu (2W-1L-0D) via unanimous decision (59-54, 58-55, 59-54) in their 65kg catchweight fight over six rounds.

Mahlangu started the better of the two fighters, moving well and boxing from the outside in the first two rounds. Nkosi, though, really asserted his dominance from the third as he worked his way inside and landed some great combinations, tagging the body and the head.

The writing was on the wall for Mahlangu after being deducted a point in the fifth for holding as he slumped to the first loss of his career, while Nkosi picked up his third win.

Boxing masterclass from Bagwasi

The second bout on the main card saw Botswana’s Kagiso Bagwasi (4W-0L-1D) put on an impressive show as he beat DRC’s Lence Ngoy (2W-1L-0D) via unanimous decision (58-56, 59-55, 58-56) in their welterweight contest over six rounds.

Bagwasi put on a boxing masterclass in the first three rounds, displaying an array of skills, from quick combinations to swift counter-attacking, to slick movement, and most importantly the accuracy of his punches.

Ngoy had no answer until he landed a lucky overhand left in the fourth that cut Bagwasi on the top of his right eye. The Botswana fighter backed off a bit after that and chose to dance around the ring for the final rounds, picking his punches as he maintained his undefeated streak.

Ogaketse’s work-rate sees him down Bikitsha

Botswana’s Kutlwano Ogaketse (7W-2L-1D) set a relentless pace, which saw him beat South African Kabelo Bikitsha (5W-5L-0D) via majority decision (76-76, 79-72, 77-74) in their junior welterweight contest over eight rounds.

Ogaketse pushed the pace from the opening bell and never let up, constantly moving forward and landing punches. Bikitsha looked good at times, but he just couldn’t keep up with the work-rate.

It all came to a head in the eighth round when a massive left-hook from Ogaketse found the chin of the South African and sent him to the canvas. Bikitsha answered the count but was a beaten man as he suffered the fifth loss of his career, while Ogaketse picked up his seventh win.

The only female bout on the card saw Botswana’s Aratwa Kasemang (2W-0L-0D) beat South African Raider Muleba (4W-14L-1D) via unanimous decision (59-55, 58-56, 58-56) in their lightweight contest over six rounds.

Kasemang, by far the taller boxer, with a 20cm reach advantage, dominated the fight from the onset as she kept Muleba at distance with a stinging jab and solid straight.

The South African was unable to get inside and consequently suffered the 14th loss of her career while, in stark contrast, Kasemang earned her second win in as many fights.

Main Card results:

– Nthetelelo Nkosi wins by unanimous decision over Sipho Mahlangu (59-54, 58-55, 59-54)

– Kagiso Bagwasi wins by unanimous decision over Lence Ngoy (58-56, 59-55, 58-56)

– Mzuvukile Magwaca wins by KO over Sanele Maduna (1 minute in round 2)

– Kutlwano Ogaketse wins by majority decision over Kabelo Bikitsha (76-76, 79-72, 77-74)

– Bangile Nyangani wins by unanimous decision over Loyiso Ngatweni (120-108, 118-110, 118-110)

– Cowin Ray wins by TKO over Andile Mntungwa (2 minutes, 58 sec in round 3)

Undercard results:

– Papish Baloyi wins by majority decision over Mamelo Sithole (39-37, 38-38, 39-37)

– Donjuan Van Heerden wins by unanimous decision over Lumpungu Matoko (40-36, 40-36, 40-36)

– Aratwa Kasemang wins by unanimous decision over Raider Muleba (59-55, 58-56, 58-56