By Jake Donovan
Takalani Ndlovu endured a bumpy road en route to the first defense of his super bantamweight belt,as he outpointed Giovani Caro in their 12-round main event Saturday evening in Colima, Mexico.
Seven months after finally topping Steve Molitor for the first time in three tries, Ndlovu hoped to enjoy an easy first defense before eying potential unification bouts next year. He was also in search of his first road victory in nearly five years, having twice fallen short to Molitor in Canada and also suffering a controversial points loss to Fernando Beltran in Nashville three years ago.
Ndlovu landed the road win, but was given a stiff test from Caro, who was determined to look good in front of his countrymen.
The threat of an upset surfaced less than three minutes into the contest, with the normally sturdy Ndlovu suffering a rare knockdown. The South African did what any champion should – dust himself off and continue on with his mission.
The end result was his third straight points win, as he improves to 33-6 (18KO).
Caro suffers his second loss in a row as he falls to 22-9-4 (17KO). The Mexican dropped a decision in a title eliminator against Ndlovu’s countryman Simpiwe Vetyeka this past July, but was rated high enough by the sanctioning body involved in this fight to qualify for this title shot.
With the road trip now in the bank, Ndlovu and his handlers eye big money fights in 2012.
“There were some offers regarding unification and this may be the way to go,” stated promoter Branco Milenkovic. “Otherwise, he has a mandatory defense.”
Milenkovic hopes for a fight where he controls both sides, as the highest rated contender is Jeffrey Mathebula, whom he also promotes. Ndlovu won a split decision against his countryman in 2010 to set up the title shot against Molitor earlier this year.
21-year old Aaron Bobadilla came out like a man possessed, scoring three knockdowns en route to a first round knockout against the vastly more experienced Javier Rodriguez (11-7, 10KO). Official time was 2:27 of the opening round. Bobadilla (6-2, 4KO) has now won three straight.
Maureen “The Real Million Dollar Baby” Shea (17-2, 11KO) scored a fifth round knockout over May-ra Martinez.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com and an award-winning member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Contact Jake at JakeNDaBox@gmail.com.
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