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March 2nd 2011
Muller gets the business done
SA champion Johnny Muller, left, and Roedolf Venter, pictured days before their nine-round thriller, won via ninth round TKO by Muller

SA champion Johnny Muller, left, and Roedolf Venter, pictured days before their nine-round thriller, won via ninth round TKO by Muller

It was billed as the Night of the Young Guns and Johnny Muller dutifully pulled the trigger in the ninth round, dismantling game Roedolf Venter in the first defence of his SA light-heavyweight title at Emperors Palace on Tuesday night.

Venter had given Muller all he could handle in the torrid preceding rounds, but Muller’s greater workrate and superior size told in the end as he dismantled the challenger’s brave bid.

It was a wild affair, with Muller showing a tendency to lose focus, while Venter cracked him nicely with overhand rights. Trouble was, he wasn’t busy enough to hurt Muller, who seldom put a foot backwards.

Venter gave as good as he got, but a sign of things to come was evident in the fourth round when he was clipped with a short right hand that dropped him. He got up quickly enough and the pace of the fight simply amplified after that.

Venter’s ambition was superb, but so was Muller’s determination. He took a couple of shots to land even more, his power finally taking over in the ninth when he put Venter down with a bodyshot. The challenger complained of a leg injury, but his real injury was to the body where Muller’s power told in supreme fashion.

Just 20, he will no doubt improve and harness more fans with his crowd-pleasing style.

Earlier, Joey Stiglingh was in fine form as he dominated Sam Sethole in a lightweight bout. Notwithstanding poor refereeing, Stiglingh had Sethole down twice in the third before matters were brought to a halt in the fourth.

Heavyweight Zack Mwekassa was another inside-the-distance winner as he overwhelmed brave but limited Epiphane Pipi on his way to a fourth round TKO. Showing good skills and a vicious body attack, Mwekassa was barely troubled.

At lightweight, Warren Joubert had to be satisfied with another draw against Takalani Dengala – this time of the technical variety – when he suffered a deep cut on his forehead that forced a halt to the fight in the third.

In earlier action, Ronnie Chiloane drew with Morne Bothma in a bantamweight bout, while welterweight Bongo Lipembo scored a third round TKO against Godfrey Mabunda.