Banku Wins Again
6/27/2011 2:37:26 PM -
Local boxing hero, Bukom Banku, was hardly vintage but still did enough to secure a unanimous points victory over Namibian Vikapita Meroro last Saturday as he successfully defended his WBO Africa light-heavyweight title at the Accra International Conference Centre.
In what turned out to be a virtual box-and-clinch style, Meroro succeeded in subduing the venom in Banku, but also incurred the hostility of the nearly 1,000 crowd who booed him as he turned towards the four sides to salute after the final bell.
It seemed, however, to be an effective strategy by the Namibian as Banku for most part was stripped of his usual guile and agility, succumbing only to the terms dictated by Meroro's antics and tactics.
In the end, however, the judges ruled the fight 118-109, 116-110 and 115-113 to hand Banku, aka Braimah Kamoko, his 28th victory in as many fights in his professional career.
On a night that two compatriots of Banku welterweight Patrick Allotey and super-featherweight Emmanuel Tagoe dazzled with amazing boxing skills that brought the crowd on their feet for long spells, the dour show that characterised the Banku-Meroro bout proved an anti-climax to a lively night that had attracted stars beyond boxing, including Black Stars striker Asamoah Gyan and his brother Baffour, football administrators Alhaji Sly Tetteh of Liberty Professionals, Victor Ahiakpor of Heart of Lions and Abu Sondonko of Mighty Jets, Accra mayor Alfred Vanderpuye, and Member of Parliament for Odododiodoo, Nii Tackie Kommey.
Banku had whetted the appetite of fans when he jogged around during one of the undercards, and when he emerged in a white robe of a 'priest' bearing a giant crucifix, the stage was set for a thrilling affair that never was.
Meoro entered the fight with an impressive record of 20-2 (9KOs), and was touted as potentially the man to dent Banku's unblemished record.
But after two rounds of open engagement, he discovered the tough job on hand and resorted to persistent clinching.
With a slight advantage in both height and reach, the Namibian started with jabs and straight rights. During that exciting period, Meroro's adventure nearly brought the fight to an early end when he ran into a Banku uppercut that shook his system, leaving him clutching at everything to remain on his feet.
The second continued in similar fashion with Banku establishing full control over affairs, landing his hefty hooks and uppercuts with a measure of ease.
But the trend changed from the third as Meroro sensed danger lurking, and so it remained till the final round.
With the crowd showing their displeasure at Meroro's strategy, Banku entered the ninth round with a virtual plea to his foe, urging him to fight rather than clinching.
In other fights, Emmanuel Tagoe also earned a unanimous points victory over Chilean Oscar Bravo to annex the IBF Inter-Continental super-featherweight title, youngster Frederick Lawson also defeated Kofi Manu in a welterweight contest to make it five straight wins since turning professional, Patrick Allotey earned a unanimous points victory over Jamiru Tyson of Nigeria in a catc