Trevor Cramer

By Trevor Cramer

Senior sports sub-editor

‘Razor’ Knapp beats Mousaoui by unanimous decision

The exciting South African boxer produced a solid performance to overcome the experienced Frenchman.

The exciting junior middleweight Roarke “Razor” Knapp cemented his reputation as a tournament drawcard at Emperors Palace on Saturday night.

The 24-year-old South African fighter took another defining step in his career with a thrilling 10-round unanimous points verdict over the 39-fight French veteran Ahmed El Mousaoui in the headline bout on Golden Gloves’ “Peril at the Palace” Box and Dine tournament.

Knapp had no illusions at the outset that he was in for a tough fight, and he was, barring one judge Tony Nyangiwe, whose scorecard of 99-91 was baffling, to say the least, while the other judges scored it 98-93 and 96-94.

Knapp (now 16-1-1-11 knockouts) found his French opponent (now 34-5-1) to be more than a handful and had to summon all his boxing savvy to remain in control, varying his attack sensibly between body and head and boxing from behind a snappy, educated jab.

But El Mousaoui’s boxing pedigree, experience and the fact that he had never been knocked out in his career, was always evident and Knapp, who had often been criticised for his “soft chin”, was always required to be very vigilant, but his opponent simply lacked the required punching power to drop Knapp.

And vigilant he was, countering his well-schooled and conditioned opponent’s lightening quick combinations and dangerous-looking left-hook with solid, measured, impactful combinations of his own throughout the fight and a menacing right uppercut always in stock.

The closest Knapp came to ending matters was in the third round when he staggered El Mousaoui with a booming right uppercut and followed up with a left-hook which left the Frenchman off balance. 

In the main supporting bout, an initially rusty Shervantaigh Koopman (now 11-0–8 kos), just back from an injury layoff, gained an eighth round knockout victory over the game Free Stater Jackson Kaptein (6-2-1) to defend his SA junior-middleweight title.

Kaptein struggled to build on his early momentum and once the tall, rangy defending champion found his rhythm and range, it was one-way traffic as Kaptein, down twice in the eighth already, was counted out on his feet (1:17).

Junior bantamweight Ricardo “Magic Man” Malajika (now 11-2) seems to have finally come of age as a professional and beat the Filipino southpaw Adrian Larasan (now 12-5) via a fifth-round TKO (2:49) in a scheduled 10-rounder, in what was undoubtedly his best performance to date.

Often accused of lacking a big punch and a slow starter, Malajika was always in control and decked his opponent with a massive right in the fifth and sensing blood, sustained the assault before Larasan indicated he had enough and the referee waved the fight over.

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