By Mabvuto Kambuwe:
South Africa-based boxer Hannock ‘Hardknocker’ Phiri was on top of his game when he knocked out Byson Gwayani in a non-title bout at M1 Centre Point in Lilongwe on Sunday.
The two boxers went into the fight with an impressive record in recent bouts but Phiri showed great character from the first round until he knocked out his opponent.
Phiri dominated the fight and his aggression forced his opponent to the corner on several occasions.
However, using his usual hit-and-duck approach, Gwayani gave his fans some false hopes in the first five rounds in which he survived an avalanche of punches.
However, things turned worse for him after he was floored in round six.
But he managed to beat the 10-second count and continued fighting.
In round seven, Phiri unleashed a powerful right punch which sent Gwayani to the canvas. It marked the end of the bout.
Despite winning, Phiri was left with a bleeding cut on the right side of his face.
He said his next target was to snatch the national welterweight belt from Gwayani in the next three months.
“I knew that he would not match me in the ring because I trained for six months. I have shown him that I am good boxer and I am ready to challenge him for the belt,” Phiri said.
Gwayani won the belt last month after defeating Salim Chazama at the same venue.
The thoroughly beaten Gwayani swallowed his pride and accepted defeat.
“He was better than me in the ring but this is part of boxing. So life goes on. I have lost but this does not mean the end of the world,” he said.
Organisers Ngwenyama Boxing Promotions Director, Patrick Ngwenyama, said he was impressed with the quality of boxing displayed by the two fighters.
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