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18.12.2004 Sports News

Powers wins W.A. super middleweight title

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Accra, Dec. 18, GNA - Ayitey Powers on Saturday morning became the new National and West Africa Super Middleweight Champion when he recorded a 12 round knockout over Mohamed Kunde of the Republic of Benin at the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium in Accra.

Powers, who put up a below par performance compared to the superlative ring-craft he exhibited against James Toney in a Commonwealth and WBC International middleweight championship fight earlier in the year took total dominance of the bout in the last five rounds to knock out his opponent in one minute, 24 seconds of the final round.

However, it was Kunde who controlled affairs right from the beginning of the first round and kept his opponent under constant pressure, as he took his time to deliver some good punches to the head and mid section of Powers, whilst Powers' search for a killer punch failed to materialise.

Though Powers succeeded in landing some good shots in the early rounds and was looking for the chance to end the fight early, Kunde managed to avoid the bombs and maintained his dominance by relying on his fitness and his good footwork.

The trend of events however changed in favour of Powers in the seventh round when he sent Kunde unto the canvas with an illegal punch that hit him dead on his manhood.

This halted proceeding for over three minute for the ring doctors to rescue the "dying" Kunde. The boxer managed to survive the pains but could not sustain the initial vigour that put him ahead of his opponent from the beginning of the fight, as things turned against him.

From that unfortunate incident, Powers capitalised on the indisposition of his opponent turned the heat on Kunde with some hefty right hand punches, which connected with precision.

By the 11th round, Powers' had managed to wear down his opponent who could not provide any answer to the combination of punches being hurled at him and had to find solace on the ropes after being dazed by the high volume of punishment.

Powers' threw everything into the fight in the final round and gave his opponents no breathing space and succeeded in connecting a right hook, which sent Kunde through the ropes and onto the canvas, with just one minute 26 seconds to end proceedings, compelling referee Godfrey Cobblah to stop the fight.

But the most interesting fight of the night was an eight round international featherweight contest between Osumanu Akaba, the WBC International featherweight champion and Justin Savi from the Republic of Benin.

In defiance of bookmakers' predictions, Savi put up a performance that reduced Akaba's status to anonymity and made nonsense of the WBC International belt that he has in his custody.

Eager to end the fight early, Akaba started on a very high tempo and forced the Benin boxer onto the back track as he threw thunderous punches, which the visitor blocked effectively with his high gloves. Intermittently, Savi announced he was no mincemeat but was rather made of muscle and bones as he stood toe to toe with Akaba to trade punches.

The arena went dead silent mid way through the second round when a sturdy left connected to the chest of the Ghanaian and decked him for six counts.

When hostilities resumed, Akaba appeared infuriated and chased his opponent around, jabbing with the right and looking for an opening to target a terminal left punch, believing that the fight would not last long.

He was stunned again when Savi hammered him with a thunderous right uppercut on the retreat that visibly shook him and slowed down his aggression late in the third round.

From then, the pattern of mobility changed with Savi becoming the aggressor and Akaba the defender.

In a tense neutral corner action, Akaba caught the Benin warrior with a good left hand that clearly hurt and thinking that he had taken the wind out of Savi, the WBC International champion rushed in for the kill and that became his undoing.

Savi targeted a solid right that landed on the left cheek of Akaba and opened a cut that bled profusely for the rest of the fight. The cut worsened the plight of Akaba who became very slow, as he tried to protect his wound, giving Savi the opportunity to dictate the pace and fire home some good shots, which forced a further inspection of the wound from ring side doctor Carl Sonne.

Surprisingly, the crowd went behind the Benin fighter when he floored Akaba two more times with vicious right shots which the referee controversially ruled as slips and refused to count.

In the end the Ghanaian was left battered and bruised but to the astonishment of the fans, the fight was declared a draw.

Reacting to the verdict, Mr Ataa Eddie Pappoe, one of the judges who officiated in the fight described it as unfair, adding that the score sheets, as presented by the judges did not specify a draw. In other bouts of the "Gboshann Night" put together by Ambition Promotion in conjunction with the Commonwealth Sport Award, Ben Ankrah (Congo Soldier) won a unanimous decision over Amidu Turkson with the scorecards reading 80-72, 80-72 and 80-72 after eight rounds of action.

Turkson was a last minute replacement for Bilhal Mohammed who was expected to duel Congo Soldier for the vacant National and West Africa lightweight championship but pulled out on health grounds. Osumanu Yahaya ( Ossei Duran) registered a third round knock out over Frank Daabisi from the Republic of Benin in their eight round international super welterweight contest.

In another welterweight contest, Thomas Awinbono won a unanimous verdict of 80-75, 78-74 and 78-75 over Aryee Ayittey in an exciting eight round bout, that kept fans cheering throughout, whilst Fasiou Fatiou from the Republic of Benin won 80-72, 80-72, 80-72 on the judges' scorecards against Imorana Bozo in another eight round international super bantamweight contest.

Stephen "Ataa Gyata" Okine earned a fifth round knockout over Ezekial Alamu in their lightweight contest which was fixed for eight rounds and Philip Kotey won a sixth round knockout in his welterweight bout against Isaac Sowah.

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