Michael ‘One Bullet’ Ansah has won over many for delivering on his word of snatching the national lightweight title from Sheriff Quaye. And it came with a touch of drama – Michael Ansah beat Sheriff Quaye to pulp leaving no stretch of doubt about whether he was a worthy champion.
It was a packed Bukom Boxing Arena, and an expected one because of the high stakes in that bout staged in the early hours of March 9, 2019. Sheriff Quaye had won the first installment via a controversial split decision in October last year at the same venue. The tension in the bout gripped not only the fans but the two boxers who showed glimpses of it by clinching and pushing which resulted in accidental falls – the champion Quaye being the worst offender.
Sheriff Quaye’s pride was clipped a great deal by his long-time foe, because he was beaten to pulp in round seven, with a barrage of left right combinations by Ansah who had maintained good composure in the previous rounds.
But the signs were on the wall from the very minute as both boxers were called to proceed into the ring. Sheriff the champion (who had been carried shoulder high by one of his corner men) delayed for more than 10 minutes after Michael Ansah had arrived. The tunnel area had been over populated with fans and well-wishers who unconsciously created a blocked path. Eventually he was carried into the ring.
The first round did not see much action with both boxers trying to settle down. Sheriff Quaye kept a distance to enable him jab effectively but not much of that was seen. He also resorted to swerving and dancing around the ring. Ansah attempted attacking with some body shots but was not effective.
Ansah the shorter of the two, now started gradually attacking, he threw more punches and ended up in clinches with Sheriff. The latter had also successfully penetrated Ansah’s guard a couple of times but he (Ansah) kept chasing and applying pressure. The crowd responded with spontaneous roars after some good exchanges between the two boxers midway through the third round.
Perhaps the biggest signal yet in the bout was the latter part of round four when Sheriff walked into a dazing dirty right punch from Ansah. Unfortunately for the latter, he did not follow up with a repeat, aiding the visibly dazed champion to complete the round. At this stage Michael ‘One Bullet’ Ansah’s confidence was hitting fever pitch. He landed more combinations to Sheriff’s face and stalked him around the ring.
The champion’s resolve to handle the challenge from ‘One Bullet Ansah was waning as he was pinned to the ropes and the neutral corner on two occasions with continuous body hooks and which were beginning to take their toll.
The seventh could be likened to a cat and mouse race where the champion Sheriff was the mouse. Michael Ansah chased him around the rings and kept the punches flowing. The crowd, whom this point had mostly become pro-Ansah urged their not-so-tall boxer in his black trunks on and he adhered. But after 1 minute and 22 seconds of the seventh, Referee Michael Neequaye had to intervene to save a wobbly and dazed champion sheriff from further punishment.
Joshua Clottey’s surprise retirement
In other attractions, ex IBF welterweight champion, Joshua ‘The Heater’ Clottey ended his career on a high after an impressive performance against a stubborn Mfaume Mfaume of Tanzania. Clottey looked fit and younger than a 41 year-old. He attacked, held his defensive guard up and swerved on a good number of occasions. One of the strong points for Joshua was the effective use of his left on Mfaume’s body and this became the latter’s bane which prevented him from answering the bell for the 6th round. “I did this for the fans because they have supported me throughout this journey. I punched and made sure I was attacking and swerving at the same time and it worked.”
“This is a surprise. This is my last fight. I want to retire I have fought the best and made some good things out of the sport. I am glad that I won a world title and fought many big names as well. If the media think I should continue, however I will but for now, I am retired,” he said. Joshua had earlier said he wanted to return and win one more world title in the build up to the fight.
In other bouts Abraham Tabul won the WBO Africa cruiserweight title after overcoming a tough challenge from American, Patrick Ferguson. Former world title contender, Maxwell Awuku stopped Mouibi Sarouna Armstrong in round six of a 10-round super featherweight contest, while Isaac Sackey defeated Edward Kambasi via a seventh round TKO.
Spontaneous celebrations followed with many fans entering the ring to celebrate with Michael Ansah, while the ring side Doctor, S.A. Quaye attended to the battered Sheriff Quaye. Some broken glass was thrown into the ring at a point, which had to be swept out before the announcement of the fight result and presentation of the Ghana Lightweight title belt.
Earlier a fan who pelted an object at guests in the VVIP area of the ring side was beaten up and ushered out of the arena.
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