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Controversy mars Brian Mwando’s title win

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Boxer Brian Mwando won the national middleweight title on a unanimous points’ decision under controversial circumstances against challenger, Chikondi Makawa, at Robins Park in Blantyre on Saturday.

Mwando, after dominating nine rounds, appeared to have lost it all in the 10th round when Makawa launched a late rally to knock down the Zimbabwean.

After absorbing many punches in the 10th round, Mwando spat his gum-shield, forcing referee, Julie Milole, to order the pair to go to neutral corners.

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However, Makawa was irked as he felt that Mwando was buying time to regain composure, and he launched an attack before the referee had called for the fight to continue.

At this moment, Mwando said he could not fight anymore as he helplessly knelt in the ring.

As Makawa’s corner was rejoicing, they were left stunned and dejected when Chief Jury, Mbachichi Nyirenda, announced that they would refer to the scorecards because the challenger committed a foul.

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“I went into the ring to consult on what was happening and I was told that Mwando could not continue with the fight because of the foul. In this case, the rule states that if the fight did not go beyond round seven, we were supposed to call it a no-contest,” Nyirenda told the audience.

“The rule further stipulates that if the fight went beyond round four, then we either disqualify the boxer, who commits the foul, or be lenient to refer to the score cards.”

Mwando was declared the winner on a unanimous decision after judges scored in his favour.

Rex Yuda scored it 98-85, Elton Ndojime 99-94 and Lovemore Katanda 99-94 in Mwando’s favour.

Makawa faulted the judges and the chief jury for allegedly being biased.

“It was my strategy that I should wear him down. He cannot take me in 12 rounds. I started releasing my punches in the eighth round and in round 10, I went flat out. It is frustrating and pathetic that the referee was failing to see that Mwando was trying to buy time,” Makawa said.

“Again, there was supposed to be a 10-punch rule. The referee was supposed to stop the fight after noticing that Mwando was failing to

hit back. We saw it in Lilongwe when Limbani Masamba lost a fight after failing to hit back.”

Mwando was excited that Malawi Professional Boxing Control Board had applied boxing rules.

“Elsewhere, this is what is supposed to happen. Anyway, I thank my sponsors, promoters and fans,” he said.

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