1991-09-14 Dingaan Thobela w pts 12 Antonio Rivera, Standard Bank Arena, Johannesburg, South Africa - WBO
1991-09-14 Dingaan Thobela w pts 12 Antonio Rivera, Standard Bank Arena, Johannesburg, South Africa - WBO. Referee: Steve Smoger. Scorecards: 117-112, 115-113, 118-112. Defending his title on home ground for the first time, Thobela (134½) made a slow start before picking up the pace in the fourth round and being badly hurt in the fifth when Rivera (134¾) caught him with a solid left hook to the chin. Having gone head-to-head with the challenger, Thobela proved his worth after taking several more heavy shots to the head and coming back well to end the round on a high note. From the sixth through to the tenth Thobela began to drive punches through Rivera’s high guard, and although the latter was never totally subdued by the ninth he was being battered from both hands. The last two sessions saw both men tiring from their exertions and there were few exciting moments until the final bell. There were no more defences for Thobela and he relinquished the WBO version of the title in July 1992 in order to challenge for the WBA crown.
[Category: 1991 Lightweight Title Contests]]