Sports

Judge punched up

Tempers flared in Blantyre on Monday evening when Olusegun Kapanga, from boxer Osgood Kayuni’s camp, slapped one of the judges at the centre of a disputed fight against Wilson Masamba.

The disputed bout was held at Robins Park on Saturday when Kayuni was incorrectly declared the winner of the eight-round junior lightweight contest.

The error prompted the Malawi Professional Boxing Control Board to meet and eventually call for a press briefing, at the Malawi National Council of Sports’ head office, to announce Masamba as the winner.

After the announcement, Kapanga of Zama Boxing Promotions, slapped judge Lovemore Katanda following a heated argument outside the council’s offices.

During the press briefing, the board, through its General Secretary for the South, Mbachichi Nyirenda, admitted that it was responsible for the error.

Nyirenda has since said Kapanga will be summoned to a disciplinary hearing for slapping Katanda, who was on the judging panel alongside Dyson Luya and Desire Kambewa.

“According to the scorecards by the three judges sitting on the day, the first judge gave Masamba 77-76, the second judge scored 78-77 and the last judge 79-78,” Nyirenda said.

“But the mistake was made by the person we entrusted with summing up the results. It was just a mathematical error. As a referee, I had no choice but to lift Kayuni’s hand up because that is what the rules say. I was also surprised with the results.”

Nyirenda said it is impossible in professional boxing for an eight-round bout to reach a score of 88 points, as announced on the day, since maximum points for eight rounds is 80.

Masamba’s No Pain No Gain promoter, Craig Rousseau, said he was happy with the decision as it was clear that Masamba dominated the fight.

But Zama’s publicist, George Matipwiri, said they will appeal against the board’s decision.

“This result is not fair. We were not invited to a hearing on the matter and we are surprised with how this result comes in. The board is making its decision based on the scorecards which they have shown us. How sure are we that they are the original cards?” Matipwiri questioned.

Nyirenda, however, distanced the board from making decisions on the prize money for the boxers, saying their duty was just to clear the error.

“The boxers and their promoters should discuss that. We can come in if asked to be arbitrators,” he said.

Mulanje Last Boxing Promotion hosted the fight courtesy of sponsorship from Chombe Foods Limited.

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