Sai breaks fans heart …Kayoed in 5th round, loses WBO Interim title

kautondowa (left) catches Sai with the left that sent him down  Photo Ebo GormanGhanaian boxing fans witnessed one of the shocking nights in the history of the sport when Obodai ‘The Miracle’ Sai suffered a fifth round knockout to Namibian WBO Africa middleweight champion, Walter Kautondokwa in a WBO middleweight world title eliminator on Friday at the Bukom Boxing Arena in Accra.

The entire arena was plunged into petrified silence when a left hook caught the Ghanaian on the jaw and got dazed before dropping slowly on the canvass.

It was the hope of the fans that Sai will recover to salvage the opportunity that could have landed him a potential world title shot but referee Roger Barnor was left with no choice but wave for the end of the championship after Sai failed to respond after the mandatory eight counts.

Indeed, it was an overwhelming sight for the entire ‘Miracle’ team led by Coach Vincent Akai Nettey, watching an opportunity to unify the WBO Africa and Interim middleweight titles and a potential candidate to face the world champion blown into smithereens.

For the Namibian and the few countrymen that supported him, it was their biggest defense of the title outside their comfort zone and rightly confessed after the game, that they never anticipated it could go that way.

Kautondokwa’s unbeaten record from 14 fights states a case about him but it never frightened anyone, not even Sai who fans have absolute confidence in his ability to deliver.

The belief before the fight was that Sai would win no matter the Namibian’s resistance but he proved to all he was in a class of his own, making excellent use of his reach advantage.

From the blast of the first bell, he frustrated the Ghanaian with his solid defensive posture and kept him at a distant using his left hand.

The first round ended uneventful but not the second when Sai decided to be adventurous and attempted to find a way through the defense of the lanky Namibian.

He was successful a number of times but was unable to avoid some of the damaging counter-punches from Kautondokwa, one of which hit Sai at the latter parts of the second round.

The exchanges became fierce as the WBO Africa champion warmed himself up into the game, standing toe-to-toe with the Ghanaian with the fans cheering their favourite on to deliver.

Sai kept probing for the killer-punch which never came and in aggravation  resorted to foul methods like the use of the elbow, which attracted a stern caution from the referee.

A right punch pushed Sai to his own corner where an exchange ensued and then from nowhere came that destructive left hook which caught the Ghanaian who at the point had his guard dropped and felt the full power of the hook.

Clearly, he was left dazed but managed to get up to go through the count but it ended too soon for Kautondokwa to extend his unbeaten run to 15.

The event, put together by the Lions Boxing Promotions attracted hundreds of fans including former world champions, Azumah Nelson and Ike ‘Bazooka’ Quartey, executives of the new Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA) led by its President and Vice President, Peter Zwennes and Henry Manly-Spain, Black Stars skipper, Asamoah Gyan and others.

On the main undercard, Patrick Okine recorded a double over his fiercest rival, Michael Ansah after posting a unanimous decision win over him in their lightweight contest.

The judges scored the exciting 10-rounder 99-93, 98-93 and 98-92 for Okine.

Having been stopped in the first fight, Ansah added a bit of controversy to the show when he walked out of the ring when ‘Mallet’ mounted the ring and walked out of the arena only to resurface some few minutes time.

Known as the ‘Bullet’, Ansah again refused to shake hands with the Mallet and was recalled to go through the pre-fight formality.

In a super featherweight contest, Raphael Mensah recorded a unanimous decision win over Edward Kambase.

Mensah won it scoring 80-77, 80-70 and 80-70 to throw a challenge to IBO lightweight world champion, Emmanuel ‘Game Boy’ Tagoe.

Kpakpo Allotey stopped Tackie Annan in a national super lightweight championship.

By Andrew Nortey & Michael Abayateye

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