By Sports Reporter
SOUTH African Gabisile Tshabalala says she is disappointed by the referee’s decision to stop the World Boxing Council (WBC) female bantamweight gold defence title bout against champion Catherine Phiri when she was willing to continue the fight.
Catherine defended the title last Saturday night via a technical knockout in a fight that lasted 80 seconds at Government Complex in Lusaka.
Referee Sylvia Mokaila of South Africa ended the fight after Tshabalala was knocked down by Catherine’s power punch in 72 seconds. Tshabalala could barely regain steadiness and had to be helped by the referee.
Mokaila asked Tshabalala twice if she was ready to continue, but the South African boxer nodded in the negative.
But in a post-fight interview, Tshabalala expressed disappointment that Mokaila ended the fight because she was ready to go on.
“I am not happy that the referee ended the fight. I was willingly to continue with the fight. It is unfortunate that the bout lasted inside a minute,” she said.
She said she was ready to come back and challenge Catherine.
“I may consider coming back to challenge for the belt again. I will continue to train hard because this is not the end of my career,” she said.
Meanwhile, Catherine said she was shocked that Tshabalala was South Africa’s best boxer.
“I am shocked with Tshabalala’s boxing. I was expecting a tough fight but I was surprised that it lasted for just a minute. I trained for three months for this fight and I am disappointed that she was actually not ready,” she said.
Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions (OQBP) operations manager Christopher Malunga said Catherine will go on a break from boxing to concentrate on school.
“I am equally shocked Tshabalala was South Africa’s best boxer. She could barely survive a punch. This is Catherine’s last fight until she writes her Grade 12 examinations. Education is important and she needs to stay focused,” he said.