Xolisani Ndongeni collected a championship belt, but as a showcase to his talents, his defeat of Jasper Seroka for IBO honours on Saturday was neither here nor there.
He duly won by overwhelming the experienced Seroka in the ninth round, but his victory may have had more to do with cornerman Colin Nathan’s fury than any other factor.
The trainer came close to blowing a gasket at the end of the eighth, chiding “Nomeva” for his strangely lacklustre showing.
The unbeaten fighter then went out, staggered Seroka and had him at sixes and sevens, forcing the TKO stoppage (which Seroka’s corner angrily protested).
It was an underwhelming performance by Ndongeni whose reluctance to jab and throw combinations made him look ordinary, although Nathan later claimed that the boxer had injured his shoulder which hampered his movement.
This may have been the case, but it doesn’t account for why he ate a slew of right hands. Against Seroka it wasn’t too troubling; against a puncher, he’d be lights out with such porous defence.
“I knew it would be tough and not a walk in the park,” said Ndongeni, who enjoyed the support of his East London home crowd.
He’s now an impressive 20-0 and sits atop the lightweight division, but it’s very clear that he remains a work in progress.