Roarke Knapp dropped former world junior lightweight title challenger Dante Jardon once en route to a hard-fought unanimous decision victory this past Saturday night at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park, South Africa.
Scores were 97-92, 97-92, and 96-93 for Knapp, who improved to 15-1, 11 knockouts.
Knapp, a hard-hitting junior middleweight from nearby Edenvale, dropped Jardon during the third round. Jardon was not visibly hurt from the knockdown and fought on as Knapp looked to finish him.
The 24-year-old Knapp boxed from the outside during the second half of the fight as Jardon attempted to close the distance and force Knapp to fight on the inside. Jardon was able to connect on a lead counter right or left, but Knapp was able to find a rhythm in throwing and landing two or three-punch combinations.
Knapp last fought on June 11, defeating Brandon Thysse by split-decision in a 12-round bout. The win over Thysse was a rematch of their November 2019, which Thysse won by knockout.
Longtime South Africa promoter Rodney Berman believes Knapp is one to watch in the sport.
“We have great expectations of him,” Berman told Boxingscene in an interview in October.
Jardon, who resides in Mexico City, falls to 35-9, 25 KOs. The 35-year-old has split his last six fights and his most notable defeat was to then-WBC junior lightweight titleholder Takashi Miura.
In the co-feature, Brandon Thysse defeated Cristiano Ndombassy by unanimous decision. Scores were 97-93, 98-93, and 96-95 for Thysse, who goes to 15-3-1, 12 KOs.
Thysse, who resides in Germiston, and Ndombassy exchanged hard right hands to the head that snapped each fighter’s head back on several occasions. Thysse landed more often, even connecting with right uppercuts to the head.
Ndombassy, who is originally from Angola and now resides in the Western Cape of South Africa, drops to 13-7, 10 KOs.
Cruiserweight Akani Phuzi defeated Johnny Muller by unanimous decision.
Scores were 96-94, 96-93 and a bizarre 98-97 for Phuzi, who improves to 13-2, 6 KOs.
Phuzi’s two defeats were to Muller (23-10-2, 14 KOs) on June 19 of last year and in December 2020.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for BoxingScene since September 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing