Ghana's top boxing contest of the year -- preceded by months of ballyhoo and a war of words from the two contestants -- drew hundreds of fight fans to an Accra arena on Saturday (August 4).
Ghana's top boxing contest of the year -- preceded by months of ballyhoo and a war of words from the two contestants -- drew hundreds of fight fans to an Accra arena on Saturday (August 4). The attraction was a catchweight contest between the Ghana and West African Middleweight champion Joe Oke and Ghana's welterweight kingpin Oblitey Commey.
It had all the makings of a grudge fight. "I don't care tuppence how fast Joe Oke will be," growled Oblitey before the fight, "I'm going to stop him." Oke restored: "I'm going to toy with Oblitey and make him look like a novice."
In the event, it wasn't a walkover for either boxer. They were both still there exchanging punches at the tenth and final round. But as the bell went, the referee had no hesitation in raising Joe Oke's arm -- the winner on points.
SYNOPSIS: Throughout the contest Joe Oke, the taller man, had consistently used his longer reach to punish the welterweight champion. But Commey, with years more experience in the ring plus a couple of years fighting on the British circuit, often used his ringcraft to box his way out of trouble. So there still wasn't much in it up to this final round.
As the round neared its end, both boxers were still on their feet -- despite the threats of dire slaughter that had preceded the match.
It's all over bar the announcement of the winner. Oblitey Commey confounded his critics by going the distance -- and avenging a humiliating defeat in his last major fight eighteen months earlier. But there's no doubt about the winner - the younger man Joe Oke, a good prospect for Ghanaian boxing.