Van Heerden retains belt but wins no science prize
Chris van Heerden retained his IBO welterweight title at Emperors Palace on Saturday night, but he could do with a couple of physics lessons.
The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, but he and experienced Argentinian challenger Sebastian Lujan hardly threw any straight punches in their 12-round tussle.
Boxing without jabs is like sex without foreplay. Occasionally Van Heerden did throw something straight and actually surprised his opponent when he connected.
Ultimately Van Heerden out-hooked Lujan to win by unanimous decision, using his youth and speed to good advantage, round after round, hook after hook.
Two judges scored it 120-108 and the third 119-109.
The South African, who had Danny K in his entourage, was a deserving victor, although his performance is unlikely to have worried Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather or Timothy Bradley (had any of them watched it).
In fairness, Lujan was not an easy opponent for southpaw Van Heerden, showboating at times by dropping his hands and slipping punches. The champion needs to ask himself why Lujan got away with his arrogant moves.
Lujan was experienced, but at 32 perhaps he was past his best; at the zenith of his career he was stopped in 10 rounds by Antonio Margarito seven years ago.
Van Heerden, 24, will have to use this as a learning curve. His record improved to 18 wins, one loss and one draw; Lujan's dropped to 42-7-1.
Danie Venter comprehensively outboxed Daniel Bruwer over eight rounds to claim the only points victory in the cruiserweight super eight series.
Venter, described as “washed up” by Bruwer's trainer Nick Durandt, was too quick, strong and busy for Bruwer, whose fans included Brett Kebble assassin Mikey Schultz.
Bruwer even tried blind-siding Venter at the start of the sixth round, throwing a haymaker while touching gloves.
Thabiso Mchunu and Zack Mekwassa both won their bouts on first-round stoppages.
Mekwassa was too strong for Tshepang Mohale, who spun on his feet before hitting the canvas on his stomach.
Mchunu and Flo Simba were going hell for leather when Mchunu landed a couple of tasty blows, and the referee jumped in and halted it, even though Simba looked like he had plenty of fight left in him.
Israeli Ran Nakash withdrew after failing to make the limit at Friday's weigh-in. That means Johnny Muller gets a bye into the semifinals in September.