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A night to savour


by Confidence Musariri
Sports

 

. . . Haikali’s toughest ever match         Enterprising Martin Haikali met someone with the same hand speed in what was arguably one of the best fights of the night. The action in the first was just a preview of what was to come as each round as both fighters exchanged furious combinations. Both fighters took their turns pressing forward and fighting on the inside, with Haikali looking to use a heavy body attack to open up Oluoch’s peek-a-boo defence.Kenyan Peter Oluoch’s stubborn defence was practically impregnable but that did not leave Haikali hitting air all night long.  Oluoch is left-handed but his resilience was awesome, only that he found a boxer whose moments of madness is when he is on the attack and destroys anything around him. Having faced the likes of Tyson Uushona in his career, Haikali is used to getting hit a lot but it seemed his nemesis was meant to be a punch-bag for the night.  It was not a whitewash for the homeboy and fight had gone into a 13th round, Haikali could not have stood the test, as he has a weak defence himself and was wearing off towards the end.    . . . Hitman Hitman Hitman   The Hitman endured some turbulent times on Saturday, but that shows the level that he is. Sidney Siqueira had a much sturdier chin than the Hitman. He was by far the more aggressive and exciting fighter of the two, and had an edge in knowing how to cut off the ring. Yet, The Hitman was struggling with his geography in the ring. Hitman sometimes had to be exhorted and pushed during a fight to perform at his best, while Siqueira looked like a self starter and had a natural inborn killer instinct that Moses once had. Hitman did not apply more pressure and go for the KO against the Brazilian. Was it tactical? Not really.  After a first round of testing each other’s territories, Hitman lost the second and third round and it was too late to think of a KO. Working behind what became a trademark low left, Siqueira  whipped in the punches from all angles and took The Hitman’s confidence inside the second round, with a heavy straight right hand buckling Moses’ body to the ropes.  The trend continued as Moses tried to find his groove, but was constantly on the retreat against the ropes under a heavy, but patient rain of punches from the Samba boy. The Hitman was obviously out of sorts but gritted his teeth and gamely tried to turn the tide back in his favour. It wasn’t pretty but spurred on by his raucous hometown support he managed to bull his way inside and club away, the cleaner shots were constantly coming from  Siqueira though and he seemed remarkably relaxed for somebody who has never won outside Brazil in five attempts.  The danger signs really began to flash in the fifth. As Moses became increasingly ragged in his attempts to get close to the challenger, Siqueira began to land his uppercut regularly. Moses initially took them well but at some stage the writing was on the wall.It wasn’t until after the sixth round that Moses unleashed a left hook cum uppercut which landed solidly on the visitor’s jaw and got him back in the game.But Siquiera was in no mood to let his man off the hook. His follow up barrage nearly brought an end to matters at 2.20sec of the 6th round. The non-stop action went back-and-forth in the 6th through 7th rounds; Moses’ power and  Good Samaritan-ness versus Siqueira’s speed, aggressiveness, versus and quickness. Nonethless the Hitman began to steadily wore down his more experienced opponent and his left to the body seemed to be reaping dividends. So it proved. A solid left to the face hurt the Brazilian as the Hitman showed good footwork but the signs of what could become a dominant jab is all that was throughout the fight.  It’s not The Hitman of old.  But he fought back much harder than the night he lost the title, a year ago. The former champion impressively worked to the body but the fact that he switched his angle of attack throughout showed how tough the battle was.  He only needs to stop his Good Samaritan behaviour. The Unanimous Decision in The Hitman’s favour was perhaps too much, a split decision or a draw would have been a true reflection of the match. We did see flashes of what we know Hitman can do, but he just didn’t get the chance to shine properly and that was a shame because of his curfew from the Brazilian   . . . The only Sunday we know is Oliseh             Against Wilberforce Shihepo, Sunday Ajuwa took a ton of punishment. The difference in size was too much and his orthodox stance lead him to connect a vicious right from a southpaw Shihepo. And floored him in the second round. From the first round, it never looked like the Nigerian would disfigure Shihepo’s LL Cool J looks and by the time he hit the canvas and referee wisely dispensed with the count at 2.04sec of the second round. Why waste our time? The only Sunday we know from Nigeria is Oliseh. And he was a super eagle not a boxer. Shihepo has now improved to 21f 15w 6L, as Sunday suffered his third defeat. 

 

      . . .The Rock 17-0 It reads more like a Welwitschias halftime score line at the Rugby World Cup, but in actual fact, that is Paulus ‘The Rock’ Ambunda’s new record. He is undefeated in 17 fights. Kenyan Twalib Mubiru was stubborn against The Rock but it wouldn’t work because the army man tagged along with hard counter shots each time. Mubiru tried to cover his back. Having received a standing ovation in his grand entrance, Ambunda improved his record to 11KO with a mature and patient performance over Mubiru who looked more like an Olympic athlete than a boxer. But that’s what Kenyans are known for anyway. Both men put in a sporting effort, one a boxer and the visitor, a runner.  Mubiru lost more energy darting up and down across the ring than landing blows. The ending came in the 3rd round, as the bloodied and weak Mubiru was pounded from one side of the ring to the other, at some stage prompting female referee Patema Kandjengo to halt the suffering. 

 

. . .Tyson still lacks the killer instinct On Saturday Tyson Uushona proved to be a very cerebral fighter who adapts and modifies his game plan to whoever his opponent is. But he lacks that Midas Touch. He just cannot knock out anyone. Juan Jose Dias pounded brave from the opening bell. They danced on their toes, boxing well, moving nicely and jabbing well and both had a rhythm and put punches together well. But Tyson had a tactic which would work throughout the fight and one which the Argentine, who was dehydrating throughout the fight, never found an answer too.  Tyson can be what he wants to be, he cannot be in the same bracket as Paulus ‘The Hitman’ Moses yet, by any means. He is one of the boys who can punch and is very good but the levels of competitiveness differ. He needs to be fried more. The crowd chanted Tyson’s name to buoy his efforts, when the opportunity to KO Dias but the sheer lack of a killer instinct was too much for the Coetzee Street based African champ, who had entered the ring backed by The Dogg’s live performance of yesteryear hit ‘Take Out Your Gun’. By the fifth round, some swelling developed at the back of Dias. It became pink and later on a complete mess, with nasty cuts and heavy swelling developing on his back. Blood and white skin are not a good sight. The size of his beating can be explained by him lifting Tyson after the match before the results were even announced.

 

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