One up for Campbell clan as Georgian falls
● Unbeaten Rowan Campbell, who was once expelled from school for fighting, was in his element in the Emperors Palace ring last night as he rallied to score a late stoppage win over Malkhaz Sujashvili of Georgia.
The victory, which came in the last of eight rounds, ensured he will challenge for the vacant South African super-middleweight crown against Renson Hobyani in August.
Campbell looked impressive after a slow start, and perhaps the ugliest part of his display was the large kilt he chose to wear, over black shorts (thankfully).
After a comfortable first round, Campbell suddenly started eating leather as his opponent nailed him with right leads over the jab as well as some left hooks.
The South African was tentative in the third round but in the fourth came back, beating Sujashvili to the punch and applying pressure. The more uncomfortable Sujashvili looked, the more Campbell pressed.
It came as no surprise when Sujashvili quit 1min 41sec into the eighth round.
Campbell, who had three amateur fights before joining the paid ranks, now has a record of seven wins, six by stoppage.
His opponent dropped to 10 wins and two defeats.
The duo produced what became an entertaining bout in the end.
“I’m ready [for the SA title shot],” said Campbell. “The progress is there, everything is coming together.”
Campbell, who was expelled from Trinity in Grade 11 for fighting, moved to Parktown Boys High, where it took him several weeks to adjust.
“I left all my friends and had to start again,” said the 23-year-old. “The first month was tough, there were points where they pushed me to the point of nearly fighting, but I was scared of getting expelled again.”
Earlier, cage-fighter-turned-boxer Wade Groth stretched his unbeaten record to six wins, grinding out a six-round points decision over Andile Mntungwa, but he won’t be causing Gennady Golovkin sleepless nights.
His defence is porous, he clowns too much and his punching technique is poor.
Junior featherweight Ayabonga Sonjica, who boxed at the 2012 Olympics, won on a first-round knockout to move to 4-0.
The southpaw landed a solid, stunning left that convinced Tumelo Mantsane to drop to a knee and stay down for the count.
Rowan Campbell (blue and white) and Jackson Masamba in 2017 at Emperors Palace in Johannesburg.