1997-02-08 Jacob Matlala w pts 12 Mickey Cantwell, London Arena, Millwall, London, England - WBO

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1997-02-08 Jacob Matlala w pts 12 Mickey Cantwell, London Arena, Millwall, London, England - WBO. Referee: Roberto Ramirez. Scorecards: 116-112, 116-112, 113-115. In a contest of boxer versus fighter, Cantwell (107), the boxer, did well in the early rounds, using the jab and right cross not only to score points but to keep Matlala (108) at distance. However, with Cantwell cut on the left eye in the third, and visibly tiring at the halfway mark, the champion began to work the body well enough to come home on points.

Forbidden by the organisation to challenge Michael Carbajal for the IBA title, Matlala relinquished his WBO version of the title in May 1997, an action that was followed by Jesus Chong and Eric Griffin being matched to find a new champion.

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