Wahab Oluwaseun recovered from an early setback to see off aggressive challenger Abraham Osei Bonsu and retain the national super featherweight belt with a controversial split decision yesterday dawn.
Oluwaseun, 27, required medical treatment for a cut beneath his right eye during the fourth of 12 entertaining rounds which took place on a slippery canvas at the Bukom Boxing Arena.
However, he managed to become steady, scoring two knockdowns on Bonsu in the fifth and seventh rounds before going on to win the fight on two out of three of the judges’ scorecards.
Former national super featherweight champion, Bonsu dominated the opening four rounds of the bout and would have felt confident of reclaiming the strap after staggering Oluwaseun at the end of the first round.
His swift movement neutralised Oluwaseun’s superior reach advantage enabling him to dominate the champion easily with jabs and hooks in the opening rounds which opened a cut on Oluwaseun’s face in the fourth round requiring attention from the ringside doctor.
The tide turned in the champion’s favour in the fifth round when he forced Bonsu to visit the canvas with a stinging right hook to his jaw which earned the latter a mandatory eight second count from referee Roger Barnor. Bonsu being aware that the knockdown might cost him victory at the end, attempted to score his own but only managed to stagger Oluwaseun backwards with a right hook but the champion was saved by the bell.
Oluwaseun, who was on the ascendency, shaded an explosive sixth round which saw both boxers exchange punches even after the bell with the referee struggling to separate them.
Referee Barnor was at the centre of controversy in the seventh round when he adjudged Bonsu to have been knocked down after the boxer’s knee touched the canvas in an attempt to evade a ramapaging Oluwaseun.
The champion after scoring his second knockdown was content to avoid an exchange of punches with Bonsu who still managed to dominate the next two rounds with body shots and a powerful right hook.
Bonsu remained the aggressor for the closing rounds of the bout but struggled to land the knockout punch which he craved with some wild swings of his fist.
At the end of the bout, two of the judges Confidence Hiagbe and May Mensah Akakpo scored it 116-112 and 115-114 while Owusu Ansah scored it 114-116 for Bonsu who stormed out of the ring in protest against the verdict.
The win improved fast rising Oluwaseun’s professional record to 13 wins, 0 loss and 0 draws.
In the pick of the undercard bouts, Emmanuel Martey claimed the national super middleweight title with a 120-110, 120-107 and 119-109 unanimous points decision over Stephen Abbey while Ghana’s Obodai Sai stopped Tanzania’s Selemani Saidi in round two of a scheduled 10-round middleweight contest.
Isaac Dowuona edged Michael Papoe 74-76, 73-77 and 74-77 in their eight-round super featherweight clash while Isaac Sackey earned a unanimous decision over Ezekiel Annan.
In what was the shortest bout of the night, enterprising Musah Rahman Lawson made light work of Lebanese Elias Farah stopping him before the second minute of their international amateur middleweight contest billed for 3 rounds.
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