Those who could not afford the gate fees climbed on rooftops, treetops and the Eastern Fence to have a glimpse of this mouth-watering fixture.
Chimkwapulo donning blue trunks with white a white band around the waist manned the red corner while Chazama in all white manned the Blue Corner. Unlike in the recent past when Salim Chazama put on a ferocious face, this time around his demeanour was cool calm and collected with a wry smile throughout the fight.
The first ten seconds saw Chimkwapulo going hard on Chazama with a flurry of punches but the experienced Chazama was too swift on his feet easily moving out of harm’s way and countering with a jab and an occasional cross.
Chimkwapulo’s onslaught did not relent but Chazama who fought from a back foot seemed to be floating a few inches off the canvas and avoided any damage from the young pugilist. Towards the end of the first round the two boxers engaged on the western corner, exchanging blows at will, leaving Chimkwapulo reeling from a Chazama right hook before the bell rang to signal the end of the first round.
Come second round the script was the same except that Chazama started scoring more combinations unlike in the first round when he depended so much on his jab. A frustrated Chimkwapulo turned to a more aggressive game plan but it seemed to backfire as he landed within Chazama’s firing range each time he moved forward.
A right hook sent him reeling but referee Andy Muyaya stopped the fight, cautioning Chazama to avoid shoving. It wasn’t long before Chazama caught Chimkwapulo off guard with a powerful cross followed by a clinical left hook which seemed to stun Chimkwapulo for a split second before dropping like a sack of potatoes to the canvas.
Though he beat the count, the young man had not fully recuperated from the hangover as he looked dazed when the referee signalled the fighters to box. Chazama signalled his opponent to come forward from his corner and Chimkwapulo took the bait only to be stunned by a barrage of heavy blows from downstairs to the head. Chimkwapulo tried to punch but the steam in his punch was long gone as most of his punches either ended on Chazama’s arms or went off target.
On the other hand, Chazama continued throwing heavy punches at his opponent sending him backwards before connecting a powerful uppercut to the jaw which sent Chimkwapulo to the canvas for the second time. Referee Andy Muyaya noticing the damage rushed to remove the gum shield before waving the fight over.
There was an uproar from the patrons as others rushed to get into the ring to congratulate Chazama but thanks to the ringside security which ably managed the situation to keep patrons at bay. It was a jaw-dropping performance from Salim Chazama whose performances had been below standard since his return from a peacekeeping mission in the DRC.
Chimkwapulo who emerged two years ago and sent shivers on the spines of lightweights in the country had fought seven times since turning professional, winning five by straight KOs and once by TKO.
In the main supporting bout of the night, Heavyweight Alick Gogodo beat debutant Abraham Nyirongo of Malawi Police Service via a unanimous decision. Nyirongo who has been a boxing referee and manager for years decided to drop the shirt and bowtie to put on gloves instead.
A lot of patrons cheered Nyirongo for stepping in the ring with one ferocious beast in the heavyweight category to the wire. A lot needs to be done though to polish his footwork which seemed a bit out of season and his punching as he missed quite some good shots possibly due to lack of game time and sparring. Nyirongo is expected to face off with another heavyweight sensation Mussa Ajibu in August.
In another bout, Byson Fuso Fighter Gwayani outclassed Wongani Kainga from Mzuzu and won via unanimous decision. However, Kainga gave Gwayani a run for his money as he proved a tough nut to crack. Gwayani dropped Kainga in the second round with a powerful right cross to the chin but Kainga carried on to see the fight last the whole six rounds.
Earlier former Surestream Academy and Fisd Wizards striker Clifford Amtaf won via the short route in round four as he put Henry Kapeni to sleep with a powerful right cross. Amtaf’s record is at three wins from three fights, winning two via KO.
In the first match of the day, Mussa Jafali beat Gift Elias on points via a judges’ split decision. The patrons cried foul saying that a draw would have been more justifiable as the two boxers put up a very competitive performance and were evenly matched in the ring.
One of the boxing patrons Mr Mphande congratulated Japhet Majekete of Superior Boxing Promotions for staging this mouth-watering tournament, describing it as the rebirth of boxing in Malawi.