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21 Nov 2004 00:00
Pandemonium broke out inside the Big Top Arena at Carnival City when angry boxing fans protested the dubious verdict that favoured Cassius Baloyi over Lehlohonolo Ledwaba.
Local female judge Siya Vabaza from the Eastern Cape scored the fight 116-113 while Jap van Niewenhuizen, also from South Africa, saw it 116-112.
John Colyle from the United Kingdom scored it 116-113—all in favour of Baloyi. It could have been better if Baloyi won via a split decision because Ledwaba, who won nine rounds, allowed Baloyi to get back into the fight in the last three rounds.
But instead Baloyi, who was completely outclassed by a hungrier, determined and superbly conditioned Ledwaba, appeared undeserved in being declared a unanimous points winner.
Fans booed the decision.
Baloyi’s trainer, Nick Durandt, tried to calm them down but it became worse as the noise grew louder.
Baloyi, who registered the third defence of his IBO junior lightweight belt, quickly announced that he will give Ledwaba a rematch next February.
But the same could happen again in the rematch. Despite fighting his heart out in one of the best-ever fights of his career, the Sowetan boxer still could not win the decision.
Baloyi never came close to winning the fight. Ledwaba controlled the fight for eight rounds although Baloyi did have answers to Ledwaba’s punches.
Ledwaba took a breather in the 10th round onwards, and that enabled Baloyi to get back into the fight he was losing buy a wide margin.
They went hammer and tongs in the 12th round but although Baloyi finished strongly, it did not seem enough to win the fight. The judges, however, appeared to have a totally different view of matters.—Sapa
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