… takes Wanyonyi to the cleaners
WINDHOEK – As he earlier promised, Wilberforce ‘Black Mamba’ Shihepo made short work of his fight against Daniel Wanyonyi after the hard-punching Namibian knockout specialist banged his way past the Kenyan to successfully win the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) Africa Super Middleweight title via an 8th round technical knockout, at the Windhoek Country Club, in the wee hours of Saturday morning.
Shihepo signaled his intensions right from the onset when he dropped Wanyonyi twice in the opening round but the determined Kenyan managed to beat the count on both occasions. But Shihepo was soon back in the thick of things as he battered his opponent with some devastating head and body hooks that had Wanyonyi on the ropes in the 2nd and 3rd rounds.
In the 4th and 6th rounds, the Kenyan had seen enough of the Namibian’s killer blows and started clinging onto Shihepo to slow down his tempo and the ploy worked as Shihepo was now not getting enough room to connect his strong hooks.
But with Shihepo having already done enough damage in the opening rounds, Wanyonyi many a time seemed afraid of taking on Shihepo as he avoided a face-to-face confrontation.
It was in the 8th round when Shihepo’s strong left hand dropped Wanyonyi but the blow seemed to have damaged the Kenyan’s left eye as crawled in the ring holding to the ropes as moved to his corner for assistance. Referee Jaap van Nieuwenhuizen counted Wanyonyi out and handed victory to Shihepo.
Wanyonyi was later said to be fine after the ring doctor attended to his eye, which suffered just a minor scratch on the eyelid.
Shihepo’s brawling style of fighting also earned him a 5th-round stern warning from referee van Nieuwenhuizen, after he aggressively punched Wanyonyi to the head while the Kenyan was on the ground trying to recover from a slip.
In the co-main fight, Martin ‘Black Poison’ Haikali was given a decent run for his money by the much determined Peter ‘The Butcher’ Malakia, whom he defeated via n unanimous victory to win the vacant WBO Africa Lightweight title.
The two compatriots had the paying customers on the edge of their seats with some thrilling action, but Haikali was always a notch ahead in the closely contested bout. Malakia fought one of his best fights so far as he almost matched the much experienced Haikali in most aspects of the bout and responded well to whatever Haikali had in store for him.
In the 2nd main supporting bout, Sacky ‘Izinyoka’ Shikukutu overpowered a hard-punching Sherif Kasonga from the DRC to successfully defend his WBO Africa Interim Welterweight title on points, after scoring 119-110, 117-112, 118-110 on all three judges’ scorecards. Meanwhile, Abmerk Shidjuu defeated Pathias Chisenga from Zambia on points to win the WBO Africa Flyweight title.
In undercards results, Jeremia Nakathila defeated Tebego Kagiso from Botswana on points to win their junior lightweight 4-rounder, while Gomotsang Gaasite also from Botswana was the winner of the junior welterweight 4-rounder bout after beating Namibia’s Emmanuel Mungandjela on points.
In the bantamweight division, Johannes ‘Baluka’ Simon defeated Tefo Letshikgwane from Botswana on points over four rounds, while Mike Shonena trounced Moabi Mothiba from Botswana via a 3rd round technical knockout to win their international welterweight fight. Jafet Utoni completed the undercard lineup with a victory against Peter Pelane from Botswana, to win the international flyweight bout via a technical knockout in the 4th round.
By Otniel Hembapu