By Anathi Wulushe
Japanese junior lightweight boxer Kenichi Ogawa (26-1-1,18 KOs) defeated Duncan Village, East London based boxer Azinga ‘Golden Boy’ Fuzile (15-2, 9 KOs) by an unanimous decision in a 12 round thriller at New York, Madison Square Garden (MSG) Hulu Theatre to clinch the vacant IBF junior lightweight title on Sunday morning (SA Time).
Judges John McKaie, Robin Taylor and Steve Waisfeld scored the bout 115-110, 115-110 and 114-111 all in favour of the 33-year-old Ogawa.
Trying to follow in the footsteps of Brian Mitchell, Mzonke Fana, Cassius Baloyi and Malcom Klassen to become the fifth South African to win the IBF junior lightweight, Fuzile began the first-four rounds of twelve with a tactical approach as he looked counter punch Ogawa, his planed seemed to work up until the fifth round where a straight right from Ogawa put him down the canvas. Fuzile wisely took a knee and went through defence mode thereafter as Ogawa rushed in to finish him off but the East London boxer weathered the storm and survived the round.
Fuzile recovered well in the seventh and eighth round, slipped in punches and showed great reflexes, as Ogawa’s work rate slowed down. In the ninth round, Ogawa got busy again and hit Fuzile with a right straight punch which opened a cut under Fuzile’s right eye.
Refusing to give up, Fuzile became the aggressor in the 10th and 11th as he looked to turn things around leading to the final round to keep his hopes up to become a champion but was stunned and knocked down twice in the 12th and final round.