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Hannock Phiri suffers first loss


National super lightweight champion Hannock ‘Hard Knock’ Phiri suffered his first professional loss when his quest for Universal Boxing Organisation title fight ended in defeat.

Phiri lost on split decision to Tanzanian Cosmas Cheka in a 10-round title fight on Sunday at Jamhuri Stadium in Morogoro, Dodoma.

A judge scored the fight 115-112 in favour of the Malawian whereas the other two judges scored it 115- 112 and 116-114 in favour of Cheka.

Reports indicated that Phiri dominated the early rounds but could not knock out his opponent.

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.

The 21 year-old Malawian pugilist dented his record for the first time having won his first five fights including three knockouts.

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

A female Malawian boxer Ndau Chilimba lost in round one of the scheduled six to Zulfa Macho in a flyweight non-title fight.

Chilimba lost through referee stop contest.

Both Phiri and Chilimba could not be reached for comment following the defeats.

A local matchmaker Steve Mawenzi Msiska said Phiri and Chilimba were denied victories.

“For those who watched the fights and followed using various media platforms will agree with me that we [Malawians] were robbed victory. Hannock was supposed to win on unanimous decision as for Chilimba the referee could not state why he stopped the fight,” he said.

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