In the boxing events at the Commonwealth Games at Christchurch, New Zealand, African boxers made an impressive showing in the quarter-final bouts on Monday (28 January).
In the boxing events at the Commonwealth Games at Christchurch, New Zealand, African boxers made an impressive showing in the quarter-final bouts on Monday (28 January). Ten of them reached the semi-finals of the six divisions contested. They include four Ugandans, three Nigerians, two Zambians, and a Kenyan - and of them now guaranteed at least a bronze medal.
One outstanding contest was the lightweight quarter-final bout between Ayub Kalule of Uganda, and Raymond Heaney of Northern Ireland. The 18-year-old Ugandan dominated all three rounds with his long right hand, which kept up a constant hail of ounches to Heaney's face.
Both fighters use the south-paw stance, but Kalule's extra reach gave him the edge. In the first round the Irishman tried to stand up to the Ugandan and box his way inside his opponent's jabbing right hand. But time and time again Kalule's fist found his target, and the points piled up against Heaney's face.
Kalule was a silvermedallist in the East and Central African Games, and though he is one of the youngest in the Ugandan team, he has made nine appearance for his country, and won six of them.
Heaney, who just twenty-four hours previously had beaten England's Des Williams, was given two compulsory standing counts - one in the second round and the other in the third. On two occasions the Canadian referee stopped the fight to examine Heaney's swollen eye.
At the final bell, the judges gave the verdict unanimously to Ayub Kalule.