Sebastian “Coco” Madani won the vacant World Boxing Federation Super Welterweight title Saturday, June 23 in front of a sold-out crowd at the Salle Chatenoud in Annecy, France, as he was awarded a hard-fought, but deserved, unanimous decision over tough Spaniard Jose Del Rio.
On the same night, in Cape Town, South Africa, Vusumzi Tyatyeka captured the vacant WBF International Lightweight crown with a stunning ninth round knockout over fellow countryman Thanduxolo Dyani in what turned out to be a top candidate for South African fight of the year.
In France, Jose Del Rio started strong, and Sebastien Madani learned quickly that, as expected, it would not be an easy night. Madani went on the offensive, made the fight physical and seemed to have gained control when a right hook from Del Rio landed flush and floored the local favorite in the third round.
Madani beat the count of referee Toni Tiberi, but the visitor now seemed to have the upper hand, at least for a spell. Del Rio kept boxing well, but Madani regained his composure and the initiative, and halfway through the fight it looked like it could go either way.
However, from the seventh round on Madani had most success and managed to pull away down the stretch. Both boxers landed clean shots, and both gave their all in what turned out to be a real crowd-pleaser, but in the end it was Madani who had most in the tank.
The fans loved every minute of the fight, and Madani was a popular winner by scores of 116-111 (Joachim Tueda), 115-112 (Ingo Barrabas) and 115-114 (Martin Basila). The new world champion improved his impressive record to 34-1 (10), while Del Rio travels back to Palma de Mallorca with a 14-4 (4) ledger. The show was promoted by Europrom.
With WBF President and supervisor Howard Goldberg watching in amazement from ringside, Vusumzi Tyatyeka and Thanduxolo Dyani gave the Cape Town boxing fans something to remember when they slugged it out to decide the International Lightweight championship
The first three rounds were back and forth action, and in round four the power-punching Tyatyeka floored Dyani with a vicious left-right combination. In addition Dyani was deducted a point for a head butt, but wasn’t deterred by the adversity and kept on fighting hard for the victory.
In the sixth Dyani leveled things when he returned the compliment by knocking down Tyatyeka with a huge right hand. Tyatyeka gamely made it to his feet to get right back in action, and again the two warriors fought their hearts out, banging away from all angles.
In round eight Dyani was clearly getting hurt by some massive shots from Tyatyeka, but somehow he managed to survive the round and continue to fight back. It was nothing short of astonishing what these two warriors went through to come out on top.
But the end finally came in round nine when Tyatyeka knocked down Dyani hard for the second time, and this time the brave man from Khayelitsha couldn’t beat the count of referee Eddie Marshall. It was almost five minutes before he was able to get back on his feet and was cheered by the grateful crowd.
New WBF International Lightweight Champion Tyatyeka is now 13-2 (11), and Diany falls to 11-2 (6). Judges were Clifford Mbulo, Rassie Erasmus and Isaac Tshabalala. Promoter: Commando Kaleku