One up for Camp­bell clan as Ge­or­gian falls

Sunday Times - - Sport | Swimming/Cricket - By DAVID ISAAC­SON

● 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.

Pic­ture: Lee War­ren/Gallo Images

Rowan Camp­bell (blue and white) and Jack­son Masamba in 2017 at Em­per­ors Palace in Jo­han­nes­burg.

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