Boxer Hannock Phiri salvages boxing reputation
After a series of poor results from local boxers, pugilist Hannock Phiri delivered a timely statement to defeat Tanzanian Adam Lazaro in an eight-round light super lightweight non-title international bout in Tanzania on Saturday.
Phiri claimed a fourth-round technical knockout (TKO) to help restore Malawi’s battered boxing reputation following recent results.
However, Phiri’s exploits were blurred after his compatriots Chimwemwe Chiotcha and Byson Gwayani lost during the same night.
Phiri produced an outstanding performance in the early rounds but appeared exhausted in the fourth round when he exposed his guard.
However, the Malawian went on to land some punches to claim an important win.
Phiri said he was fighting to help boxing regain its glory following recent poor results.
“I had to step up for the sake of the sport. I am glad to have saved the face of Malawi’s professional boxing, especially in the men’s area, where we have not been doing well lately as a country. I went flat out to win through a knockout because it is difficult to win on points in a foreign country,” he said.
In other fights, Chiotcha, 39, suffered a third-round TKO defeat to Dulla Mbabe while Gwayani, 26, lost on points to Salim Mtango.
Chiotcha blamed his third-round TKO defeat to poor vision after sustaining a deep cut on top of his eyelid.
“I could hardly see; otherwise, I was in control of the fight,” Chiotcha, whose record has dropped to 17 wins, 12 losses and a draw, said.
His compatriot, Gwayani, alleged that his compatriot was favoured as he was fighting at home.
“I did enough to win on points but I think the judges were afraid of home support,” he said.
Gwayani has 14 wins, nine defeats and nine defeats.
Meanwhile, match-maker Steven Mawenzi Msiska has said it was a trip of mixed fortunes.
“Chiotcha could have done better had it not been for the cut he sustained. It is unfortunate that the bout ended that way. Gwayani was also good and we are wondering why his opponent was declared the winner. Nevertheless, Phiri has showcased great skill to win away,” he said.
Last week, three boxers Agnes Lewis, Mussa Mkwanda and Yusuf Ali suffered defeats in Zambia.