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Hannock Phiri calls for Ubo rematch

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National super lightweight champion Hannock ‘Hard Knock’ Phiri has called for Universal Boxing Organisation lightweight rematch after accusing the judges of biased officiation.

“I have made it clear that I want a rematch before the year ends. It was daylight robbery. I gave everything into the fight and dominated 11 rounds. If neutral judges watch the fight, they can reverse the decision and award me the title,” Phiri said.

The Malawian suffered his first professional loss when he lost on split decision to Tanzanian Cosmas Cheka in a 12-round title fight last Sunday at Jamhuri Stadium in Morogoro, Dodoma.

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A judge scored the fight 115-112 in favour of the Malawian whereas Cheka was declared winner after two judges scored it 115-112 and 116-114 in his favour.

Boxing analyst Elson Mankhomwa backed Phiri, saying he was entitled to a rematch following a tight contest.

“It was a title contest and such, the result means the fight could have gone either way. Where a title is at stake, neither a draw nor a split decision is considered satisfactory. A result like a unanimous decision or a KO [Knockout] or something like that settles the question of ring supremacy.

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“That is why Juan Manuel Marquez fought Manny Pacquiao four times, to get a comprehensive result,” he said.

Mankhomwa felt Phiri was against all odds.

“However, looking at the statistics of the boxers-the Tanzanian boxer is much more experienced- and also considering that our man was fighting away from home, Phiri did very well to make the fight so close against such a seasoned pugilist. I am very sure, with a review of the strategy and home town advantage, Hannock can beat the guy easily,” The Sunday Times Seconds Out columnist said.

Phiri, who also holds the World Professional Boxing Federation (WPBF) super lightweight champion after outscoring Hillary Kataya at Mulungushi Conference Centre in Lusaka Zambia in September last year, was hoping to claim a third title.

Following the loss, the 21 year-old Malawian pugilist dented his record for the first time, having won his first five fights.

Cheka, 29, improved his record to 25 wins, including 13 knockouts and six draws.

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