Saturday was meant to be a day for Briane Mwando and Felix Mwamaso to entertain crowd during their super middleweight bout at Robin’s Park in Blantyre, but it was a supporting semi-professional fight between Japanese pugilist Takur O Sujiri and Yusuf Ali that got all the attention.
Sujiri injected a dose of undulating fun into the patrons when he was turned into a punching bag right from the start of their first round and a flurry of unanswered punches to the face prompted the referee Desire Kambewa to declare it a knockout defeat for the Japanese within 36 seconds.
Sujiri, who kissed the canvas twice, poked more fun when he protested the referee’s decision, saying he needed more time to square up with his opponent in the ring.
“I need to fight! I need to fight!” he shouted as his corner-men took off gloves from his hands.
It took the effort of his trainer Leonard Metazama to convince him that the fight was over because, “according to professional boxing rules, a boxer is declared loser by knockout if he gets at least 10 punches without replying.
His entry into the boxing ring was even more interesting. He walked into the ring while talking on his mobile phone up to the time the bell rang for the bout to begin.
Metazama said he started training Sujiri at Mchinji Boxing Club in October last year and his first bout on Saturday was meant to assess his capabilities on the big stage.
“I wanted to see how he could perform in real bout. He is a good boxer only that he was overwhelmed by a flurry of punches from his opponent. I will polish him in his weak areas and he will fight better next time,” Metazama said about Sujiri, who works for Japanese charity organization JICA.
Malawi Professional Boxing Control Board (MPBCB) publicist Frank Chibisa said there was nothing wrong for an individual to try his luck in a semi-professional bout. He, however, advised trainers to keep their boxers abreast with all the boxing basics.