Referee Michael Neequaye raises Theophilus Ofei Dodoo’s hand signifying his win as Ring Announcer Nathaniel Attoh makes the corresponding declaration.
Two bouts of brief showers and not-so-high numbers did little to take away from the explosive fights, fashion parade and musical performances that heralded the maiden Fist of Fury fight night at the Bukom Boxing Arena last Friday.
The first night of the 26 tournament Fist of Fury Series put together by the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA) and the Ghana Boxing Federation (GBF) gave indications that the concept will grow rapidly and has been embraced by the core boxing fraternity which is the clubs, their boxers and trainers as well as officials.
The highest height of the fight night’s action was that of John ‘Fire Stone’ Akulugu’s exercise in futility where he punched his way past Daniel ‘Red Scorpion’ Laryea to a deserved win but was not decorated with the Ghanaian super welterweight title belt – The reason? Akulugu failed to make the weight of 154 pounds at the weigh-in so in effect lost the opportunity to annex the title by the rules.
Akulugu who fights out of the Sonia Gym in Accra utilized his reach and caused damage to Lartey with his left jab. This trend of the constant use of his right continued through the first seven round of the bout even though, Lartey showed signed of recovery on countable occasions.
Akulugu was the aggressor and took the fight to a punch shy Lartey who drew the ire of his corner. After the seventh round break, Lartey received some harsh slaps on the chest and face by his trainer who violently pushed him onto his corner stool, expressing disgust as his (Lartey’s) performance. He constantly had his guard up but got it penetrated severally by the swift left jab of the lanky Akulugu.
Lartey seemed to have snapped out of slumber from round eight and left Akulugu with a swell under his right eye. But these moments were short-lived. Daniel Lartey who came into the fight with 14 wins a loss and a draw was unable to follow up allowing Akulugu’s points build up to stand on the scorecards even though the latter rounds recorded more exchanges between the two boxers.
Eventually, the scorecards of judges, Clement Ashong, Michael Neequaye and J.B. Owusu Ansah read 120-108, 119-109 and 117-115 in Akulugu’s favour, but no title to show for the win, as a result of his own actions.
The second main feature was equally exciting with Delali ‘Fender’ Miledzi of the Power Zone Gym braving through a tough 12 rounds to record a split decision against Iddrisa ‘Kalu’ Amadu of the Palm Spring Gym. The lanky Miledzi had his unblemished record of 9 wins under threat in the early round of the bout as Amadu of the Palm Spring Gym, chawed him around the ring with some pacey body and headshots. After the fourth round Miledzi found his rhythm and initiated some decent amounts of attack on Amadu who countered and clinched where necessary.
J.B. Owusu Ansah, Erasmus Owoo and May Mensah Akakpo had it 111-117 for Amadu, 117-112 and 115-114 for Miledzi respectively to hand Miledzi a had earned 10th career win and the national super middleweight championship status of Ghana.
A sharp Success ‘Brave Son’ Tetteh made a third-round knockout victim of David ‘Dragon Warrior’ Kotey in a scheduled six round super featherweight contest. Tetteh’s strong jabs and hooks fused with pace and ring movement, became too heavy a burden for Kotey to carry forcing him to remain pinned to his corner stool. After being examined by ringside doctor Ken Aryeetey the bout was stopped. In the other contest, middleweight, Theophilus Ofei Dodoo the Bukom Shitor, stopped Isaac ‘Black Panther’ Tetteh of the Black Panther Gym in round five. By this win, Dodoo kept his clean sheet and improved it to 7 wins all KOS.
The fights were interspersed with a fashion show by Ghanaian Designers, JEM Afrik and Bozoma Designs while Ga Traditional Group, Wolomei treated fans to musical performances.
The curtain raisers which were a chain of juvenile bouts drew patronage from at least 2000, school children, and were followed by 12 amateur fights. The fist of Fury Fight Night returns in a fortnight.