The IBF super flyweight title changed hands last night at El Palenque De La Feria in Tepic, Mexico as South Africa's Simphiwe Nongqayi was toppled by challenger Juan Alberto Rosas.
38 year old Nongqayi won the WBF super fly strap in just his 11th pro bout and after three defenses in his homeland, traveled to Mexico and dropped Francisco Arce enroute to posting a unanimous decision in an IBF eliminator in February of last year.
Just seven months later, Nongqayi was back in Mexico but the stakes were much higher as "The Golden Master" was meeting not only the older Arce brother, national icon and three time world champion Jorge but fighting for the vacant IBF title as well.
Despite being far less experienced than Arce, Nongqayi pulled off a shocking upset, outboxing the local hero to capture the IBF super flyweight title on points.
But if a surprising draw against former European bantamweight champ Malik Bouziane in France this past April sounded warning bells that Nongqayi was starting to slip, last night's disastrous clash with Rosas proved it.
Rosas, much younger at 25 and the veteran of tough bouts against Fernando Montiel, Jose Lopez, Aj Banal and Everardo Morales, simply had too much for the champion from the very first bell.
As the rounds went on, heavy-fisted Rosas ground down the South African visitor until Nongqayi was forced to take a knee in the sixth, prompting the fight to be called at 0:30 of the round.
Rosas wins the IBF title in an upset, improving to 32-5 (26), while Nongqayi loses for the first time in his eight year career, falling to 16-1-1 (6).
The undercard saw Jorge Arce, 55-6-1 (42), win his third in a row since the Nongqayi loss, shattering the latest comeback of ex-WBA super fly champion Martin Castillo, 35-4 (18), via a first round KO at bantamweight.