Tshifhiwa Munyai

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Tshifhiwa Munyai
Statistics
Real name Tshifhiwa Munyai
Nickname(s) Atomic Spider
Rated at Bantamweight
Nationality South Africa South Africa
Born 8 May 1985
South Africa
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 28
Wins 24
Wins by KO 10
Losses 3
Draws 1

Tshifhiwa Munyai is a professional boxer from South Africa who has competed in the bantamweight and featherweight divisions. He is the current holder of the WBA inter-continental bantamweight title and is a former holder of the Commonwealth bantamweight title.

Professional Boxing Career[edit]

Early Professional Career[edit]

Munyai spent the early part of his career boxing in the townships of his native country South Africa. He had compiled a record of 10-0-1 by the time he left the country to box abroad for the first time as a professional.[1]

His big opportunity came when he was given the opportunity in June 2006 to fight England's Martin Power for the vacant Commonwealth bantamweight title. Power came into the contest with an undefeated record of 19-0 and was the holder of the British bantamweight title at the time. Munyai stunned the boxing world by beating Power with a 9th round TKO in London's York Hall.[2]

Commonwealth champion[edit]

Following his victory Munyai returned to the York Hall to defend against former Commonwealth Flyweight champion Lee Haskins. He won the contest in the 6th round when referee Micky Vann stepped in stop the contest after Haskins came off worst after being caught with a number of body shots.[3] In January 2007 Munyai once again met Martin Power this time at the Goresbrook Leisure Center in Dagenham. This time the victory was emphatic with Munyai winning four one sided rounds before Power was pulled by his corner in the fourth. Power claimed in an interview with the BBC that an elbow injury had hampered his performance saying "I picked up an elbow injury after the second round and it was restricting me. It was hard enough to fight him with two hands, but with just one I was struggling. I wanted to carry on but my corner wouldn't let me." A confident Munyai said simply "I knew from the first fight that I could beat him and, if anything, this fight was even easier for me."[4]

WBA Inter-continental champion[edit]

Following his victories Munyai fought twice more in the UK and moved up to featherweight with 8 round wins over Harry Ramogoadi and Abdul Tebazalwa before returning to South Africa as a bantamweight. In February 2008 he challenged the Argentinian Julio David Roque Ler for the WBA Inter-continental bantamweight title in Bloemfontein and came out a unanimous points winner.[5] In July 2008 Munyai returned to the UK and to the Goresbrook Leisure Centre the scene of his second victory over Power. Returning featherweight he suffered his first defeat as a professional losing to the Ghanaian boxer Osumana Akaba over 8 rounds. After the fight Akaba responded to comments that he had just been there to make up the numbers saying “I know that people didn't rate my record and thought they were going to use me as a stepping stone, just as a journeyman. I knew going into the fight that he'd beaten a lot of good people, but they were afraid of him.”[6]

Munyai returned to action back in South Africa in November 2008 and defeated fellow countryman Bongani Mahangu in a return to bantamweight. The fight was the first defence of Munyai's WBA intercontinental title and ended with a split decision win over Maglangu who at the time was also the WBA Pan African bantamweight title holder.[7] Munyai next boxed in July 2009 and in a non title fight defeated Galley Cudjoe with a first round stoppage in Johannesburg.[8]

He made the second defence of his intercontinental title on 27 February 2010 defeating the Philippines Daniel Ferreras at the Kempton Park in Gauteng over 12 rounds.[9] On 28 July 2010 he stopped Ghanain Prosper Ankrah in the 3rd round of another non-title fight at the Emperor's Palace and then just a week later on 8 August 2010 found himself in the frame for a trip to Mexico City and a shot at the vacant WBC Silver bantamweight against Mexico's Cristian Esquivel.[10] Despite the shot at the title coming at short notice Munyai traveled to Mexico and went the full 12 round distance although ended up losing for the second time in his career.

IBO super bantamweight champion[edit]

On 26 March 2011 Munyai fought Philippine boxer Danilo Pena at the Kempton Park winning on all the judges scorecards to win the vacant IBO super bantamweight championship.[11]

References[edit]

Preceded by
Joseph Agbeko
vacated
Commonwealth Bantamweight Champion
June 29, 2006–December 8, 2007
vacated
Succeeded by
Jason Booth