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Disputed contest

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The ugly side of boxing returned to haunt stakeholders, leaving fans in suspense after a tabulation error indicated that Osgood Kayuni had defeated Wilson Masamba in an-eight round junior lightweight contest at Robins Park in Blantyre on Saturday.

The result has since stood despite strong protests from Masamba’s stable and fans.

In a twist of events following protests from Masamba’s camp, it was discovered that official score cards from three judges showed that Kayuni lost 79-76, 79-75 and 79-78.

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Earlier, the ringside announcer indicated that Kayuni won 88-75, 79-78 and 88-76.

The scores, which gave Kayuni the victory, were clearly questionable as a boxer cannot score more than 80 points in an eight-round non-title contest.

After series of arguments and consultation, Malawi Professional Boxing Control Board (MPBCB) Southern Region Chapter Chairperson, Mbachichi Nyirenda, said Kayuni was a winner but the result can be reversed upon an appeal.

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“As it stands, Kayuni is a winner as announced. Determination cannot be from [officiating personnel] who were part of the mistake. We will just testify and present the score cards. That is why we keep the scorecards for three months to pave way for an appeal and investigations,” he said.

Nyirenda was apologetic and blamed the incident on interference from an ex-official.

“We are really apologetic for the mess. It happened because one of the x-official [name withheld], who did not attend the World Boxing Council officiating clinic, forced his way into panel. The board’s spokesperson, Frank Chibisa, was supposed to be here to tabulate but he is sick. So, the ex-official volunteered during the last fight,” he said.

Masamba’s camp, led by No Pain No Gain Boxing Promotions’ Managing Director, Craig Rousseau, and Zama Boxing Promotions official, Olesugun Kapanda, exchanged a heated argument following the controversy.

Masamba said he felt he won the fight.

“I put up a gallant fight but some quarters wanted to rob me of my victory,” he said.

Kayuni said, despite the tabulation error, he was the deserved winner.

“I was fighting in a lower category and I tried my best even though I did not knockout him. I scored most points,” he said.

During the contest, Masamba, 31, weighing 61.8 kilogrammes, did not use his strength to overcome Kayuni also aged 31.

Kayuni, who was forced to drop from 69 kilogrammes to 59.7 kilogrammes, was quicker but his jabs lacked the power to knockout Masamba.

In the first round, both boxers sized each other cautiously but in the second round, Masamba appeared to be the aggressor. He, however, failed to connect jabs, instead it was Kayuni who threatened through bobbing and weaving.

The next three rounds were balanced, but the fourth round saw both boxers connecting jabs only for the bell to separate the Malawi Defence Force pair.

In all fairness, neither boxer deserved to win as the fight lacked the sparkle and intensity.

It was the third meeting between the two boxers with Kayuni having won the previous two bouts.

Following the declaration, Masamba’s record is at 36 fights 27 wins, seven defeats and two draws whereas Kayuni has 33 fights with 24 wins, five defeats and four draws.

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