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Gyatabi to be awarded WBO Africa title

Wasiru ‘Gyatabi’ Mohammed and Isaac Sackey fought last Saturday

Hard-hitting Wasiru ‘Gyatabi’ Mohammed is set to be handed the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) Africa super bantamweight title after the Africa representative of the world sanctioning body defended a controversial decision of Beninois referee, Adorn Bertin, to declare Mohammed winner of last Saturday’s title fight with dethroned champion, Isaac Sackey.

On a despicable night of violence, chairs went flying, referee Bertin was assaulted, while the President of the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA), Mr Peter Zwennes, and two former GBA Presidents, Messrs Amarkai Amarteifio and Samir Captan, and some invited dignitaries fled the scene for their safety.

Wasiru, the challenger, dropped his opponent with a vicious right punch in the third round of the hot tempered bout, and after a few seconds, referee Bertin signalled the end of the bout, infuriating Sackey’s corner and fans who invaded the ring and pounced on him.

In the ensuing chaos that greeted the verdict, supporters of the two boxers engaged in a free-for-all in the ring and outside of it, and also resulted in wanton destruction of property at the arena.

However, in an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday, Mr Captan, the supervisor of the bout and President of WBO Africa, condemned the incidents, stating that there would be a price to pay by the Sackey camp.

“Akai Nettey, Sackey’s trainer, will be punished and all those involved will be punished,” he hinted.

Quoting copiously from Section 2 of the Association of Boxing Commission’s uniform rules of boxing, which states that the referee is the ‘sole arbiter of a bout and is the only individual authorised to stop a contest’, Mr Captan noted that the decision was the referee’s prerogative.

“If they disagree with that, we have a channel [to direct their grievances] and that decision could be overturned,” he explained.

He maintained that Section 5 of the Accidental Foul rule, which gives the referee the power to stop a fight and disqualify a boxer for unsportsmanlike conduct, should be adhered to.

The veteran boxing promoter seized the opportunity to apologise to boxing fans for last Saturday’s incident and gave an assurance that WBO Africa would take the necessary action to forestall a recurrence in future.

He tasked promoters of championship fights to ensure that adequate security was put in place to ensure that such lawlessness was not repeated in future.


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