03.04.2005 Sports News

Violence and controversy mars "Gbun Gbun" Night

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Accra, April 3, - The Azumah Nelson Sports Complex in Accra on Saturday morning witnessed series of violence and controversies before, during and after a boxing event staged by the Ambitions Boxing Promotions Syndicate dubbed "the Gbun Gbun night".

It was an ugly side of boxing as fans at one time or the other came into confrontation with the joint military/police and private security personnel at the stadium, whilst others also invaded the ring under the least provocation.

Over three ring side "free for all" fights occurred leading to the destruction of a lot of plastic chairs at the stadium.

The violence was transferred unto the ring when Joseph Kwadjo and Gabriel Adoku met in an eight round Welterweight contest. This was after the corner-men of Kwadjo had provoked their colleagues in Adoku's corner after the former knocked out the later. This then opened the flood gates for a free for all fight in the ring between the two corner-men but the security guards managed to calm the situation.

The violence reached its peak when Philip Kotey and Larteikwei Hammond battled for the National Welterweight crown.

Though the two boxers provided fans with the best fight on the night by displaying real art of self defence to the admiration of the fans, referee Shadrack Acquaye's decision to ignore Hammond's visitation to the canvas in Round 11, was met with anger from the corner-men of Kotey. The corner-men of Kotey responded swiftly by invading the ring after throwing in a stool to register their displeasure.

Proceedings were halted for at least five minutes before calm was restored later for the fight to continue.

The calm was however temporal as the violence was re-ignited after the twelfth (12) round. Fans of both boxers stormed the ring for the second time with threats and were not prepared to accept any result. The crowd was so uncontrollable that the organisers in conjunction with the ring officials decided to withhold the results to prevent further violence as they sort to restore sanity in the ring. A ringside official told the GNA Sports that there was no way they could have announced the result because some of the fans were said to be holding sharp

weapons and could cause havoc should the result go against them. According to the official, even though the results were ready, it would be announced later by the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA). The fight itself was a close one as both boxers exhibited good displays of boxing bringing on their best throughout the 12 rounds. Kotey, the defending champion was the first to visit the canvas in the second round after receiving a heavy blow on his mid-section but which he was able to survive.

This signalled the beginning of real hostilities as both boxers in most of the rounds stood toe-to-toe to trade punches. The exchanges of punches became so close that it was difficult one to point out which of the pugilists was leading on the score cards.

In the 11th round, Kotey also sent Hammond to the canvas but this was ruled out by the referee, and the decision opened the door of controversy on the night.

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