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04.04.2005 Sports News

Hammond wins Welterweight crown

By GNA

Accra, April 4, GNA - Lartekwei Hammond has been declared the new National Welterweight Champion three days after his controversial bout with the champion, Philip Kotey at the Azumah Nelson Sports Complex, in Accra last Friday ended without the announcement of the verdict of the judges.

This was due to the invasion of the ring by supporters of both boxers after the 12 round fierce contest.

Information made available to the GNA Sports indicates that Hammond, also known as "Shocker" secured a unanimous decision over Kotey after the 12 rounds.

According to the scores on the cards of the three judges, judge number one, Confidence Hiagbe scored 111-118 in favour of Hammond with Fred Ghartey, judge number two also scoring 110-119 in his favour. Judge number three, Godfred Cobblah also recorded 112-116 for Hammond.

It would be recalled that the ring officials last Friday shelved the results of the fight between the two boxers following a crowd invasion of the ring by irate fans of the two boxers.

The action of the fans was as a result of the fans accusing referee Shadrack Acquaye of ruling out a knock-down scored by the champion in the 11th round. This resulted in a massive crowd invasion of the ring before calm was later restored.

The charged fans returned to the ring after the 12th round and that compelled the ring officials to withhold the results for the decision to be announced later.

With the verdict of the judges now out, Hammond has therefore avenged the defeat he suffered at the hands of Kotey last year. A member of the ring officials told the GNA Sports that the decision to withhold the results was to avert any calamity as some of the fans were reported to be possessing sharp and dangerous weapons and there was the threat that they might attack people if the decision went against them.

Meanwhile, the GNA is yet to contact the camp of Kotey for their take on the verdict, but there are growing indications that they might lodge a protest or call for a rematch.

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