Boxing mad East London in the Eastern Cape saw a big show last night at the city's famed Orient Theatre.
In a thrilling contest, IBO Minimumweight Champion Nkosinathi Joyi had to climb off the canvas before he could stave off and then finish the spirited challenge of Mexican titlist Sammy Gutierrez in the seventh round.
The Central American import went after Joyi from the start, putting on tremendous pressure in true Mexican style. The champion dealt with the adversity well, rocking the challenger with solid countershots but was down in the fifth from a perfectly placed body punch from Gutierrez.
Joyi beat the count and took advantage of the haste shown by Gutierrez, who resorted to winging big punches that the champion easily saw coming and avoided.
This approach soon wore down the visitor, giving the local southpaw opportunities which were maximized when Gutierrez was hurt and unable to adequately defend himself in the seventh frame, leading to a stoppage of the action.
Joyi retains his IBO crown and stays undefeated at 18-0 (14) while Gutierrez falls to 20-3-2 (12) in his first foray outside of Mexico.
On the undercard, Mfundo Gwayana, 9-3 (3), kept his South African Light Flyweight title with a win over challenger Samora Msophi, 8-2 (5).