Ben Odametey retains featherweight title

Accra, Jan 7, GNA - National featherweight champion, Ben Odametey won a controversial points decision against Malik Jabir at the Lebanon House in Accra on Saturday night to retain his title.

There were boos and jeers from the fans, when Ring announcer, Prince Annan pronounced the verdict.

After 12 gruelling rounds, judge E.J.D. Osabutey produced a scorecard, which read 115-117 in favour of Jabir, while judges J.B Owusu Ansah and Fred Ghartey scored the fight 116-114 and 116-113 respectively for Odamatey, enabling the champion to retain his title by a split decision.

The fight was an action packed show, which produced only one knockdown, when Jabir kissed the canvas in the second round.

Both boxers had their faces battered and bloodied, with Jabir's left eye almost closed at the end of proceedings.

Jabir stunned the champion in round one, as he sat in the driving seat and hit Odametey with left and right combinations, even though he was on the back foot throughout.

Odametey increased the tempo of the fight in the second and succeeded in flooring Jabir mid way through the round with a powerful right hook which landed flat on the chin of his opponent.

The challenger rose quickly and threw many effective punches after surviving an onslaught from the champion, who thought he could end the fight then.

Thereafter, every round was fierce as the two boxers, who came from gyms with renowned local trainers, hammered and whacked each other at will.

But though Jabir remained on the retreat for most times, he threw more punches and appeared to be in absolute control of the fight from the fifth round.

The challenger raised his gloves during each interval and drew cheers from the crowd, which had suddenly gone behind him due to his gameness.

In the final round, Odametey staggered Jabir with a sturdy right cross and followed it up with intense pressure, with the hope of winning by a knockout.

But the challenger held on resolutely and connected some hard punches of his own until referee Roger Barnor went between them to halt proceedings at the final bell.

Malik Jabir, who lost his mother three days to the Fight, complained about the decision and demanded a rematch.

In the under cards, Godfrey Sowah of Akotoku Academy stopped Peter Mensah of Sagacious Club in 30 seconds of the first round in a lightweight contest scheduled for eight rounds, while Patrick Okine of Attoh Quarshie Gym drew with Idrissu Ahmed after eight rounds of action in the super featherweight division.

Emmanuel Tagoe of Dade Gym gained a unanimous points verdict over Ishmael Aryitey over eight rounds in a featherweight fray.

The fights were the bills for Fight Night Five of the Men Only Boxing Championship, sponsored by far East Mercantile, distributors of Men Only range of deodorant products and Azar Paints, with support from Metropolitan Television and the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA).



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