Edrin Dapudong knocked Gideon Buthelezi clean out of his IBO junior bantamweight title on Saturday night.
The little Filipino’s classic left hook to the jaw knocked out the champion 2 minutes 29 seconds into the first round of their fight at Emperors Palace, east of Johannesburg.
The South African’s supporters were stunned into silence even before they had time to warm to the boxers who had come out for the first bout of the Golden Gloves Promotions tournament.
Buthelezi, who had won their first bout on a split decision in November last year, seemed confident enough as the boxers sized up each other. Dapudong dug in a left to the body and Buthelezi momentarily dropped his guard.
The South African never saw the follow-up left. His head swivelled as Dapudong’s fist connected and he was out even before he hit the canvas. American referee Robert Byrd immediately called it over and out as Buthelezi’s handlers rushed to his aid.
Dapudong burst into tears as he realised he had won the title that he could have had late last year when the judges denied him, forcing the IBO to order a rematch.
Buthezi had come into the defence of his belt with a record of 13-3, including four knockouts. Dapudong improved to 28-5, with 17 knockouts after one of the most sensational opening rounds seen in SA boxing for a long time.
In a catchweight bout, junior flyweight Thabang Ramagola outclassed Leratho Kgole to win on points over six rounds.