BLANTYRE--If Zimbabwean boxer Takudzwa Kuchoka thought his third-round technical knockout loss to Malawi’s undisputed junior welterweight champion Osgood ‘The Punisher’ Kayuni in November last year in a 10-round non-title fight at Motel Paradise in Blantyre was spurious, on Saturday he had another think coming as he got another punishing in the rematch.
In the first fight, Kuchocha, who had beaten Malawi’s welterweight boxer Kenneth Chinthenga and Wellington Balakasi and was seen as virtually invincible until he squared up against Kayuni, refused to accept defeat and claimed he had been robbed of victory after the referee Salome Manyau declared it a stop-fight.
In that fight, Kayuni unleashed a power-packed straight right to the head and followed up with a sledge-hammer to the shoulder, dislocating it in the process. Kuchocha winced and cried out in pain.
Referee Manyau did not make the count for whatever reason but allowed the doctor to attend to the hurt Kuchocha in the ring. Meanwhile, the referee held Kayuni’s hand up, declaring him the winner by technical knockout.
After being attended to, Kuchocha indicated that he would continue with the fight, but The Punisher had already left the ring to celebrate his victory with his fans!
History was to repeat itself on Saturday when Kayuni squared up against the challenger in an eight-round rematch at Robin’s Park Hall in the commercial city of Blantyre.
The tall Zimbabwean retired in similar fashion, this time in the second round, after a flurry of exchange punches. He told referee Jerome Waluza that he had hurt his shoulder, the same one, and could not continue the fight much to the disappointment and jeers of the fans, who thought they had been given a raw deal in the much-publicised bout dubbed the ‘Blood Fight’.
Kuchocha, who had been declared fit for the fight, while congratulating his opponent for winning the rematch, said was not wholly convinced that he had lost fair and square again to The Punisher and challenged him to a second rematch on his home soil in Zimbabwe.
His trainer Issa Phiri backed the vanquished boxer, saying there was more to the loss than the purported savage power in Kayuni’s punches that dislocated Kuchocha’s shoulder.
Phiri told the local media after the fight that he was shocked and confused that Kuchocha’s shoulder dislocates even without being hit when he fights against Kayuni, saying this has not happened with other boxers he has fought in South Africa, Tanzania and here in Malawi.
“I suspect juju is at play here,” Phiri claimed. “I now strongly believe Kayuni uses black magic when he fights Kuchocha and I suggest another rematch, but this time it should take in Zimbabwe where his charms will be [defused].”
But Kayuni, who has just been drafted into the army and is undergoing a six-month training at Malawi Armed Forces College (Mafco) in Salima, denied he has ever used juju in his career as a boxer.
“The truth is that I was well prepared for this fight and I dedicate my victory to the Malawi Defence Force (MDF),” said Kayuni, who has now improved his professional record to 18 wins, two draws and one loss.
It was a night to remember for Malawian boxers who also triumphed in their international supporting bouts before the main bout.
Malawi’s featherweight champion Wilson Masamba and boxer Crispin Moliati, who along with Kayuni are also recruits in the MDF, beat Zimbabwean Richard Muriri and Tanzanian Obote Ameme, respectively, while Kayuni’s younger brother Malani beat fellow Malawian Marshal Ali. Tanzanian Ramadhan Shauri was replaced at the eleventh hour by Ameme to take on Moliati.
Super Smile Boxing Promotions owned by renowned former TV sports presenter Saulos Thindwa, organised the international bouts with support from confectionary makers Universal Industries and Morrison Electricals and General Dealers.
Thindwa said he was grateful to the Army Commander General Henry Odillo for releasing the recruits for the fights, saying without his blessing the bouts would have been a non-starter.
The boxers signed contracts with Super Smile Boxing Promotions three months ago as civilians, but have just been drafted in the army where they cannot do certain things their own way.
----©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment