Park Station in Johannesburg, South Africa was the scene of a domestic lightweight title bout last night between reigning champion Amon Baloyi and challenger, Patrick Malinga.
Baloyi was the rather inexperienced Gauteng Provincial titlist when he shockingly KO'd long-time champion Irvin Buhlalu for the South African title three months ago and the local man had just 15 professional fights under his belt going into this first defense.
In stark contrast, challenger Malinga was the very picture of experience, having double the bouts of the champion and having shared the ring with such luminaries as Alex Arthur, Mzonke Fana, Isaac Hlatswayo among others.
In addition, Malinga's nickname of "The Hammer" had been well-earned as only one man over the lightweight's 15 victories since 1998 had survived the distance.
It was a mismatch from the start as Malinga had no trouble walking through Baloyi's best shots and the champion didn't have the footwork to keep the challenger at a distance.
The only thing that kept Baloyi in the game was a big heart and a chin that had to absorb a frightening amount of punishment from the heavy-handed Malinga. More...