By Ron Jackson
South Africa’s Malcolm Klassen gave a classic exhibition of boxing to win the IBO junior lightweight belt when he beat Jack Assis on a unanimous 12 round points decision at the Emerald Casino in Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng on Friday night.
The 35-year-old Klassen dominated through the first eight rounds as he used all his boxing skills and educated left jab to keep the Australian based Filipino on the outside.
However, the South African began to tire in the last four rounds as he let the 33-year-old Assis back into the fight.
Klassen could have been pulling weight as he arrived late for the weigh-in, siting car trouble, but who knows?
Klassen improved his record to 33-6-2, 17 KOs, and Assis saw his record drop to 35-19-6, 18 KOs.
Assis was making the first defence of his belt.
On the same card, Filipino Jhon Germino came from behind to win on ninth knockout over former South African bantamweight champion Toto Helebe in a clash for the vacant WBA Intercontinental super bantamweight title.
Helebe’s reported record dropped to 17-7, 9 KOs, and Gemino’s reported record improved to 14-7-1, 6 KOs.
The tournament was presented by new promoters Black Gauntlet Promotions.