He didn’t float like a butterfly, neither did he sting like a bee.
But Malawian boxing icon Isaac ‘Golden Boy’ Chilemba on Friday defied the odds to win the double-header World Boxing Council (WBC) and WBA Oceania international light-heavyweight title fight against Australian Blake Caparello on unanimous points decision.
In a fight monitored on www.boxingforum24.com, Chilemba was ranked an underdog going into the fight at the Melbourne Pavilion in Flemingo, Australia, against an opponent ranked five steps above him, but using the famous rope-a-dope style, he weathered a barrage of early punches and, in the process wore down Caparello.
All the three judges scored 117-111, 115-113 and 115-113 for Chilemba.
“I feel really great. It took me three to four rounds to settle down because it has been quite a while since I last fought, but from then on, I dominated. It feels good to win,” said Chilemba in an interview from Melbourne soon after the fight.
Prior to the fight, Chilemba had been inactive for almost a year and four months following a serious elbow injury he suffered during a North American Boxing Federation (Nabf) light-heavyweight title bout against Ukranian Aleksandr Gyvozdyk in November 2016.
He now boasts 25 wins (10 KOs), five losses (one KO) and two draws while Caparello’s record stands at 26 wins (10 KOs), three losses (one KO) and a draw.
Fighting in front of his home fans, Caparello was up two rounds through eight, as reflected on the scorecards but then Chilemba won the last four rounds on all the three judges’ cards.
Chilemba had the best work of round 11, dominating the last half of the round with jabs and uppercuts. By the 10th round, he had totally reddened Caparello’s face.
Caparello tried to reassert himself with lunging jabs to the body, but he looked exhausted cas the bout progressed.
Chilemba nailed Caparello with an uppercut as he went in for a body shot in what was aclose round.
It was in the eighth round that Caparello appeared to have given up on the plan to reassert ring generalship as Chilemba controlled the pace and positioning of the fight.
“This fight has gone from what looked like an easy win for Caparello to what looks like a certain win for Chilemba if this continues.
“He is landing with the jab continuously and mixing in some beautiful uppercuts. Caparello is gassed and the crowd is totally dead after they were roaring to start the fight,” posted one of the analysts on www.boxingforum24.com.
- The result was exactly what chilemba needed after three straight losses which culminated in his first TKO loss to Gyvozdyk.
- Malawi Professional Boxing Control Board (MPBCB) president Lonzoe Zimba described Chilemba’s victory as “sweet and timely”.
- Said Zimba: “It is not easy to come back from such a long lay-off and win a title bout, it speaks volumes of what kind of boxer Chilemba really is.”