VETERAN domestic professional boxer, Obote Ameme, has planned to retire from the sport next year after a largely impressive decade in the sport, which has seen him trade jabs with a host of top class opponents from in and outside the country.
Ameme's decision came shortly after he suffered a third-round knockout defeat to Fadhil Awadh in a non-title bantamweight bout organized by the Pugilistic Syndicate of Tanzania (PST) at the Texas Hall, Manzese in Dar es Salaam on Sunday.
It was the second successive defeat to Ameme in recent months, as the boxer also lost to Morogoro's Cosmas Cheka, during an undercard bout of the Universal Boxing Organization (UBO) Intercontinental Bantamweight title bout between Tanzanian, Francis Miyeyusho, and Malawian, John Masamba, at the New Vijana Hall, Kinondoni in the city on June 21 this year.
Ameme told the 'Daily News' that he feels it was time he stepped down after participating in almost 70 bouts and give room to up-and-coming boxers to step into his shoes and pursue success in the sport. "I have planned to retire from boxing next month and let young boxers continue playing.
I have played almost 70 bouts and I think it is time I bow out of the game," he said. On Sunday, Ameme, known for his timely power punches, resilience and fantastic footwork, could surprisingly only last three rounds in the scheduled six round bout against the determined Awadh and the latter became the overwhelming favourite going into the third round thanks to his speed.
Ameme said despite losing by knockout, he was hardly outplayed by his opponent, adding that the latter's speed was the only aspect that gave him an edge in the fight. "I was not overpowered by my opponent although I lost by knockout. My opponent was only quicker than me and, right from the first round, I felt my speed was waning and I thought I better concede the knockout defeat to avoid what could have been a much worse outcome later on", he said.
"That is why you can see I have not suffered any wound in my body," he added. In the Sunday bout, Ameme was surprisingly a pale shadow of a resilient boxer he was during the June 21 non-title bantamweight bout against Cheka at the New Vijana Hall. Cheka, an aggressive up-and-coming boxer, won by unanimous split points' decision, which left many fans disappointed as they felt Ameme deserved the victory.
There were several other undercard fights played before the Sunday's main card pitting Ameme against Awadh, in which one of them saw Salum Sijali grab a unanimous points' win over Rajab Mgaza in the 46kg bout. Ramadhan Ustaadh had the points' win over Hamza Zero in a fight that saw the former knock down his opponent in the second and third rounds, while Said Mzava delivered a Technical Knock Out (TKO) win over Hassan Sultan.