What was supposed to be a memorable night for Ghanaian boxing fans on Independence Day turned messy at the Bukom Boxing Arena as crowd misbehaviour forced the ‘Independence Day Rumble’ boxing event to end prematurely.
The height of the confusion was a warning shot fired by referee Roger Barnor to disperse a section of the fans that attacked him on his way out of the arena.
The violence erupted over a decision by the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA) to cancel some of the fights as a punitive measure for boxers that reported late and were unavailable at the time their respective fights were called.
Sources close to the GBA told the Times Sports that boxers on the bill were told to report early in order for the event to start early, specifically at 7pm as the following day (Thursday) was a working day.
On that note, some of the earlier fights, including that of Sasil Abubakar, who was to make his second appearance, were canceled for the main bout of the night between Ghanaian Olympian, Issah Samir and Burkinabe challenger, Patrice Sou Toke to kick start the event.
Samir won by a Unanimous Decision.
The trouble started when the fight involving Malik Jabir was announced as the last.
That did not go down well with the hundreds of the ticket-bearing fans of Sasil Abubakar who protested the decision and demanded their boxer was made to fight.
In the process, some of them stormed the ring while others threw missiles into the ring, one of which hit Abubakar’s coach, Carl Lokko.
Referee Barnor told the Times Sports yesterday his action was in self defence; explaining that, “they demanded why their boxer did not fight but my explanation did not convince them so when they became physical, I pulled the gun and warn them to stop or I fire.”
“But they kept pushing and threatening me. They moved after I fired the warning shot.”
Coach Carl Lokko also told the Times Sports he was disappointed his ward was not allowed to fight because it was a big disincentive for fans to buy tickets and be treated that way.
Before the trouble, Delali Miledzi defeated Burkinabe fighter, Jules Kobore to win the WABU super middleweight title on the night put together by the GBA and Landmark Promotions.
John Laryea also defeated Issifu Salifu in their super bantamweight clash.
Victor Kuwornu from the Bronx gym won the interim national lightweight title after defeating Nathaniel Nukpe.
BY ANDREW NORTEY & MICHAEL D. ABAYATEYE