Boxing: Hard win for Emmanuel Tagoe

Ghana’s Emmanuel Tagoe recovered from a knockdown to win the World Boxing Association (WBA) International and the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) Africa super-featherweight titles by a majority decision at the expense of Filipino Ronald Pontillas at the Accra Stadium last Friday.

But just like his victory over compatriot George Ashie, also in Accra, five months back, the 115-115, 116-112 and 118-111 verdict by Shadrack Acquaye of Ghana, Adon Berthin of Benin and Frederick Ghartey of Ghana respectively left even some Ghanaian fans divided over the margin of victory.

The win gave Tagoe, aka Game Boy, three titles in five months, but he did little to convince even the die-hard fan about any seriousness in his demand for a showdown with the world acclaimed Manny Pacquiao, a multiple weight world boxing champion also from the Philippines who defeated Tagoe’s bigger and more experienced compatriot, Joshua Clottey, three years ago.

Watched by an impressive crowd that included about 80 Filipinos and personalities that across politics, sports and showbiz, including former Black Stars players Anthony Baffoe and Sammy Kuffour, musicians Samini and Castro, former boxing world champion Joshua Clottey and former World Boxing Council vice president Nii Ajenkwa, the televised fight was hardly the beautiful art that proponents of pugilism have sought to push.

Instead, Tagoe’s clowning antics mirrored a desperate strategy to contain a serious Pontillas who was wrongly adjudged by referee Roger Barnor to have kissed the canvass in the eighth round.

Pontillas, 23, started with aggression from the opening bell, following up on his right jabs with heavy left hooks as he restricted his bigger opponent to occasional jabs.

Tagoe, 25, recovered to dominate the next two rounds, but when the Filipino took charge in the fourth round, he floored the Ghanaian with a left punch.

From that stage, Pontillas seemed on course for a major upset on Ghanaian soil as the contingent of Filipino fans stationed at ring side urged him on at every move and punch.

But events took a sharp turn when referee Barnor began to administer the mandatory count in round eight even though Pontillas seemed to have bounced off the ropes following one of the few toe-to-toe engagements with Tagoe inside the ring.

Indeed, Pontillas still looked focused despite the referee ignoring what looked a genuine knockdown of Tagoe in the ninth, and the Ghanaian may have learnt his lessons when he resorted to clowning rather than fight as the bout walked to a dull end.

In another bout on the “Road to Legendary” bill staged by Baby Jet Promotions, George Ashie stopped Kenyan Michael Odhiambo in three rounds in their international lightweight contest.

Posted by on May 17 2013. Filed under Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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