Punches rained hard on Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldier Wellington Balakasi and Charles Misanjo on Friday night at Robinâ€™s Park in Blantyre where they lost their respective title bouts to Tanzanian Allan Kamote and Limbani Masamba, respectively, on Technical Knock Out (TKO).
However, female boxer Agnes Mtimaukanena never got into the ring to defend her World Boxing Forum (WBF) lightweight title or fight for the Universal Boxing Organization (UBO) belt as her Ugandan opponent Shabilla Namaaga did not turn-up.
Balakasi was knocked to the canvas twice in the fourth round of the 12-round bout with a flurry of combinations that sizzled with surprising power before his camp threw in the towel for Kamote to fill in the vacancy in the WBF continental beltâ€™s junior welterweight category.
The first three rounds could not give a clear picture on who was the better pugilist between the two, but Kamote capitalised on Balakasiâ€™s lack of speed and rickety guard to land thudding hooks and electric uppercuts to keep 28-year-old soldier on the back-foot just seconds into the fourth rounds.
“I could not match his speed; whatever I did, he could counteract,” explained Balakasi, whose record has stuttered to two losses and seven wins. “I am very much worried that I have lost this bout.”
But after the bout, Kamote, who has improved his record to 18 victories (10 TKOs) and five defeats, said in broken Chichewa language that Balakasi “wafera za eni” as his target is to avenge his defeat by MDF recruit and local junior welterweight champion Osgood Kayuni.
All the same, the local welterweight title bout between titleholder Misanjo and challenger Limbani Masamba was probably the most entertaining encounter of the night. Masamba earned the seventh round victory, his fourth-straight success on TKO.
Watched by a sellout crowd that included Directors of Sports Justin Saidi and Jameson Ndalama, Sports Council executive secretary George Jana and business tycoon Jimmy Koreia-Mpatsa, the fighters exchanged some impressive jabs and body punches in the first five rounds before Masamba took control.
By the sixth round, Misanjo seemed worn-out after being floored twice. However, he made it official in the seventh round when he took time to pick himself up after being slumped by a right hook.
“I did not expect this. I did not realise what was happening to me as I entered the seventh round. I could not properly see my opponent. But let me emphasise here that I did not fall because of his punches but the dizziness in my eyes,” Misanjo said after his fifth loss in 16 bouts.
Bright Mdoka also beat Nenani Kandizi on TKO during a non-title supporting bout. Nevertheless, another supporting bout between veteran boxers Chikoya Mphande and Thar Baby Bazuka Maseko failed to take place after the latterâ€™s blood pressure shot-up.
Steven Msiskaâ€™s Ngumi Boxing Promotions organised the fights with support from Popat Wholesalers, Sana Cash and Carry, Stevensonâ€™s Advertising Agency, Shire Highlands Hotel, Honey Kay Clearing Agency and Mawenzi Freight Handlers.