WINDHOEK – Africa’s award-winning boxing promoter, Nestor Tobias, is an angry man in the wake of World Boxing Organization (WBO) Africa lightweight champion Martin “Black Poison” Haikali’s controversial defeat to Samuel Amoako.
Haikali surrendered his belt following his defeat on points against the Ghanaian challenger after a local referee adjudged the Namibian to have thrown an illegal punch at his opponent after the bell had gone. The trigger-happy Ghanaian referee ordered the judges to deduct a point from Haikali.
The forfeited point proved decisive as the defending champion eventually lost on points with two Ghanaian judges giving the score in favour of Amoako.
The scorecard read: (112 – 118) and (113–114)). A neutral judge from Mali ruled a stalemate (113-113) – thus giving the challenger a majority decision.
Tobias, who did not accompany his boxer to the Ghanaian capital Accra, is fuming and believes Haikali could have retained the belt had the referee not erred.
“The referee made a grave mistake because he (Haikali) was in full motion peppering his opponent with a combination of punches when suddenly the bell rang. The referee had no business ordering a point to be sliced off, let alone caution the boxer,” fumed Tobias.
Tobias says if that point had stood, Haikali could have been declared the winner by virtue of being the defending champion with the scorecard reading: 113-118, 114 –113 and 114-114.
“These sorts of hometown decisions are seriously hampering the progress of professional boxing on the African continent and unless something is done to remedy this nasty practice – boxing will die a natural death in Africa”
Haikali had previously beaten the Ghanaian in Accra on points in defence of his title and had defended the belt he won in 2009, successfully on no less than five occasions. His record now stands at 10 wins, 5 losses with three stoppages from 15 bouts in the paid ranks.
The fight was the main supporting bout for the WBO Africa light heavyweight Braimah Kamoko title defence against Homza Wandera, at the International Conference Centre in Accra, last Saturday. Kamoko retained the belt.
“We humbly requested the promoters to appoint neutral judges because we knew we were not going to get a fair deal from the Ghanaian judges, but the promoters were steadfast that it would be too costly to fly in judges from other countries,” added a furious Tobias.
Story by Carlos Kambaekwa