I hate being a spoil sport. But I am not exactly taken or going gaga over the so-called “sensational” fourth round stoppage victory by South African Kevin Lerena over German Artur Mann at the Emperors Palace on Saturday night.

Yes my hommie Lerena is an exceptionally talented lad. And for a big man like him he can certainly move, bob and weave his way out of trouble. I also give him credit for his ability to accurately punch with precision and seemingly with devastating effect but, I’m still not convinced.

Not about his ability mind you, and please do not get me wrong. I’m just not sold about the ease with which Mann collapsed like a sack of potatoes at the Place of Dreams near Kempton Park on Saturday night.

Perhaps my parents named me Thomas for a reason. I know I find it extremely difficult to accept everything on face value, just like Thomas “The Unbeliever” did when he requested Christ to open up his palm so that he could inspect the nail marks!

I watched Lerena’s decisive fourth round against Mann and nah, quite frankly, I’m not sold. I agree that the German received a paralysing body blow prior to the “knockout” but, the punch that felled him does not appear potent enough to drop him for the count.

I was also swept by the euphoria of a compatriot bashing a European opponent to submission. But it gnawed on my consciousness and somehow the victory seemed skewed for my liking and tampered my excitement.

To satisfy my curiosity and with today’s advanced technology, I was able to slow down the said round to “Super slomo” and to my utter dismay, the so-called killer punch actually whistles over Mann’s head or date I say it sails harmlessly over his head.

Perhaps Lerena’s glove touches Mann’s hair a wee bit, yes, I must admit but the man seemed to have been “expecting” the blow to land flush on his face and was already going down and the “knockout” punch does not connect at all.

But in a theatrical display worthy of an Oscar award winning performance Mann “groggily” tries to stand up and the referee naturally stops the “onslaught” in favour of the South African and I’m sorry, but I just could not celebrate what appears like a farce.

I will not blame all my compatriots for calling me names and perhaps even venturing to claim I’m unpatriotic because the action happens so fast that it is virtually impossible for the naked eye to see it all in one motion, unless you slow down the action.

I’m neither claiming the fight was fixed. I’m merely expressing my concern that Mann did not seem to have been here for a fight and seemed too eager to take a dive than withstand the bombs exploded onto his body by the local lad.

I have no doubt that Lerena is a talented lad, but I wish in his next fight he could be matched with someone that would exchange fire with fire or punch with punch and let us see how he measures up when confronted with someone that can hit back!

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