PAULUS Ambunda is the new WBC International Super Bantamweight champion after beating his Tanzanian counterpart Nasibu Ramadhan at the Desert Rumble boxing bonanza inside The Dome Swakopmund on Friday night.
The fight night, arguably the biggest the coastal town of Swakopmund has ever seen, was co-hosted by Kalakoda Promotions from South Africa and the Salute Boxing Academy with plenty of dignitaries, including the Minster of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta and Police Chief Lieutenant General Sebastian Ndeitunga in attendance. Kwesé Sport aired the fight live to more than 30 countries in Africa.
Ambunda started his title fight off a lot more reserved than anticipated by much of the crowd as the former IBO world champion kept Ramadhan at a distance for much of the first four rounds, peppering the Tanzanian with quick combinations before taking up a defensive stance again. However, Ramadhan, highly experience after 35 bouts in paid ranks, did well to avoid any damage from Ambunda's shots.
As the fight progressed Ambunda however started to take control of proceedings.
Ramadhan tried his utmost to force a turn-around in front of a full capacity crowd, upping his work rate but failing to seriously trouble Ambunda, who dominated the final rounds.
Ambunda's dominance was reflected in the final score, as the three judges John Chaggu (Tanzania), John Shipanuka (Zambia) and Fillemon Mweya (Namibia) voted unanimously in favour of Ambunda (118-109, 115-113, 118-108).
"I have worked very hard for this fight. I'm ready for another title shot", Ambunda announced after his 26th career victory.
In the main supporting bout, Swakopmund-local and crowd-favourite Albinius 'Danny Boy' Felesianu had a short work day as his thundering left hook sent Raston Kayira from Malawi crashing to the deck after 47 seconds in the second round.
Felesianu, who had recently spent a couple of weeks of preparation with Kalakoda Promotions in Cape Town, had promised he would "bring the pain" on Friday night and kept his word. After an uneventful first round, Felesianu started to give Kayira all sorts of problems as soon as the second got underway. A short exchange of blows in the non-title lightweight fight between the two fighters was eventually ended in emphatic fashion as Felesianu's hook knocked Kayira out cold.
"I told everybody I would win this fight and I did just that. I am very happy and now I look forward to the next thing", Felesianu said. His record now stands at 18 fights with 15 wins, two losses and one draw.
An even more dominant performance came from hot Namibian junior middleweight prospect Vakufilapo "Cowboy" Nashivela. Going into the fight for the vacant WBF Africa title undefeated with five wins from the same amount of fights, four of which failed to go over the full distance, the pressure was on Nashivela to deliver against South African George Mduli.
Despite his relatively tender age of 28 years, the "Cowboy" stepped up to celebrate his quickest win ever, sending Mduli to the canvas after a mere 47 seconds in the first round.
In other action, Joseph "Smoky Joe" Hilonga beat Tinkhani Kamanga from Malawi on points (58-56, 58-55, 59-55).
Namibian Jonas Matheus had a tough day at the office but managed to eventually reign supreme over Israel Kamwamba of Malawi with a split decision win (58-56, 58-57, 57-57).
Immanuel Imms Josef beat George Kandulo from Malawi on points (60-54, 60-54, 60-54), while Lazarus Shaningwa beat compatriot Andreas Nghinaunye (40-35, 40-35, 40-35).