Against all odds, Limbani Masamba earned a seventh round Technical Knock Out (TKO) victory over favourite Malani Kayuni during a combative eight-round welterweight non-title bout at Motel Paradise in Blantyre on Sunday.
Being his first-ever professional fight, 21-year-old Ayaya City Stable boxer refused to be cowed by his Malaniâ€™s incredible record of four TKOs in five matches, but he lifted his head high in the seventh round and knocked his 22-year-old opponent to the canvas with a booming right punch.
Then, Kayuni quickly picked himself up to pummel Masamba with a flurry of combinations against the ropes, but he was suddenly forced on the back-foot when Masamba started to use his reach advantage to keep him at a distance and land an uppercut that staggered him until referee Andrew Muyaya stopped the fight.
Kayuni landed a barrage of effective jabs in the first two rounds to hold an early advantage. Nevertheless, his somehow laxity on maintaining his guard exposed his face to torment from Masambaâ€™s right hand that sizzled with blistering speed and power.
By the end of the sixth round, Kayuniâ€™s face was swollen and had a cut above his eye while Masamba had a mouth bloodied after exchanging pounding jabs. The bout seemed heading for, but Masamba picked up pace in the seventh round to take control of the entertaining combat.
“My aim was to finish him off in the fourth round,” said Masamba after the bout. “I was well prepared for this fight although its postponement (due to the 30-day mourning period of the late president Bingu wa Mutharika) somehow frustrated me.”
But Kayuni, who has suffered a second defeat to Masamba brothers after losing to Limbaniâ€™s elder brother Wilson recently, could hardly swallow his pride to accept defeat and he asked for a rematch.
He accused Masambaâ€™s camp of using juju by throwing kitchen salt in the ring in the fifth round. He also blamed the referee of favouring Masamba by stopping the fight without asking him if he were ready to continue fighting or not.
“I will need a rematch because this is not what I expected; the referee favoured my opponent and Masambaâ€™s camp threw salt into the ring to symbolize their reliance on juju,” said the young brother to Osgood.
Before taking it to the ring at professional level in this bout promoted by Namisonga Boxing Promotions and assisted by PMJ Security Services and Mawenzie Freight Handlers, the two pugilists also fought twice in the amateur ranks where they won a match apiece.