The thrilling junior middleweight Roarke “Razor” Knapp cemented his status as a match drawcard at Emperors Palace on Saturday evening.
The 24-year-old South African fighter took one other defining step in his profession with an exciting 10-round unanimous factors verdict over the 39-fight French veteran Ahmed El Mousaoui within the headline bout on Golden Gloves’ “Peril on the Palace” Field and Dine match.
Knapp had no illusions on the outset that he was in for a tricky battle, and he was, barring one choose Tony Nyangiwe, whose scorecard of 99-91 was baffling, to say the least, whereas the opposite judges scored it 98-93 and 96-94.
Knapp (now 16-1-1-11 knockouts) discovered his French opponent (now 34-5-1) to be greater than a handful and needed to summon all his boxing savvy to stay in management, various his assault sensibly between physique and head and boxing from behind a handy guide a rough, educated jab.
However El Mousaoui’s boxing pedigree, expertise and the truth that he had by no means been knocked out in his profession, was at all times evident and Knapp, who had usually been criticised for his “gentle chin”, was at all times required to be very vigilant, however his opponent merely lacked the required punching energy to drop Knapp.
And vigilant he was, countering his well-schooled and conditioned opponent’s lightening fast mixtures and dangerous-looking left-hook with stable, measured, impactful mixtures of his personal all through the battle and a menacing proper uppercut at all times in inventory.
The closest Knapp got here to ending issues was within the third spherical when he staggered El Mousaoui with a booming proper uppercut and adopted up with a left-hook which left the Frenchman off stability.
In the primary supporting bout, an initially rusty Shervantaigh Koopman (now 11-0–8 kos), simply again from an damage layoff, gained an eighth spherical knockout victory over the sport Free Stater Jackson Kaptein (6-2-1) to defend his SA junior-middleweight title.
Kaptein struggled to construct on his early momentum and as soon as the tall, rangy defending champion discovered his rhythm and vary, it was one-way visitors as Kaptein, down twice within the eighth already, was counted out on his ft (1:17).
Junior bantamweight Ricardo “Magic Man” Malajika (now 11-2) appears to have lastly come of age as knowledgeable and beat the Filipino southpaw Adrian Larasan (now 12-5) through a fifth-round TKO (2:49) in a scheduled 10-rounder, in what was undoubtedly his finest efficiency so far.
Usually accused of missing an enormous punch and a gradual starter, Malajika was at all times in management and decked his opponent with a large proper within the fifth and sensing blood, sustained the assault earlier than Larasan indicated he had sufficient and the referee waved the battle over.