Banku Retains Title After Surviving Knockdown
Braimah ‘Bukom Banku’ Kamoko suffered a first career knockdown but survived to score a controversial third round technical knockout victory over Ugandan Hamza Wandera at the Accra Stadium last Saturday.
The victory meant the Ghanaian kept his World Boxing Organisation (WBO) Africa light-heavyweight title, but his 23rd victory in as many professional fights was largely helped by Wandera’s strange decision to discontinue fighting during the third round.
The Ugandan seemed to complain after a third warning from Referee Roger Barnor as the two boxers mixed it up in mid-ring, but Wandera, looking unimpressed, turned his back to Banku as he reached a neutral corner.
Banku delivered a hook from behind before the referee intervened again to beckon Wandera to fight. But the 28-year-old southpaw again turned off as Banku approached and delivered another hook to the head of Wandera with Banku facing the back of his opponent, and the referee ducked the champion a point for that blow.
But Wandara signaled his disinterest in the fight, and the referee waved it over immediately.
It was an anti-climax to a fierce confrontation that lasted 1 minute 30 seconds into the third round of their 12-round championship fight, and fans filed away from ring side and popular stand in obvious disappointment over the almost no show.
Wandera, looking far smaller in size in relation to his opponent and the weight division, looked impressive with his jabs and follow-ups in the opening round as his sleek footwork and hand speed proved to disorganise the champion from the onset.
Midway through the opening round, Banku missed with a wild right uppercut and he slipped in the process as Wandera landed with a left-right combination.
He beat the mandatory count and began to land powerful shots with accuracy in the second and third rounds until the sudden end.
“Next time I would want an international referee before I fight here,” Wandera said after the fight.
“He is a good boxer. He has a bright future,” Banku admitted of his opponent.
On the bill staged by GoldenMike Promotions Syndicate, Banku’s stable mate, Joshua ‘Bukom Tsatsu’ Okine, scored a unanimous points win over Amilcar Funes of Argentina to claim the WBO Africa welterweight title, while Samuel Amoako avenged a defeat by Namibia’s Martin Haikali with a majority verdict to win the WBO Africa super-lightweight title.
Ishmael Aryeetey also stopped Hope Mawuli in the sixth round to win the national featherweight title.