Esther wins but…

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Esther Phiri yesterday retained the Global Boxing Union super featherweight title on a split-point decision but only few may agree that the verdict was fair as America’s Belinda Laracuente was a trifle better and could claim glory as well.

Esther was slower and could hardly match the body language, technique and sheer power of Laracuente, the Zambian’s only real test since she entered the international arena last year.

Laracuente was sharper, cleverer and more aggressive that an ordinary eye could have given her at least five out of the eight rounds at Lusaka’s Woodlands Stadium.

“It’s a shame, I beat the girl on points because I scored more as I was very aggressive.

I feel it’s very unfair,” Laracuente said.

But her manager Wonder Bruce summed it up in crude language: “The girl (Esther) got embarrassed and everyone saw that her face popped up while my girl was just fine.

Losing is not a problem but not when you lose unfairly.

“Let her (Esther) come to America and we’ll teach her how to fight.

This is bush…t,” an upset Bruce said.

Greeted to a deafening roar when she entered the ring, Esther whose record improved to 7-1-1-1, received four big rights in the opening round but had a good finish.

Her left jab was not as fast as it has been known and the American kept her face behind her fists, making it difficult for Esther to penetrate.

But she ended the round with a strong one-two combination that seemed not to bother Laracuente who danced and darted in the ring.

Esther’s guard was poor and she was exposed in the second round when the American put her on the defence with quick combinations.

The Zambian improved in the third round as she turned the aggressor, landing her trademark hooks that made the American begin to know the quality of her opponent.

A relentless push forced Laracuente to drop her guard, but Esther could not finish her off and the round ended at par.

The fourth and fifth were equally even but Laracuente was steadier, closing down the champion and delivering body punches to weaken the Zambian.

Esther was scathed in sixth round as a strong right ensured her face responded, swelling on the right in a slugfest that left both boxers exhausted.

Laracuente danced and teased Esther as sweat dripped down the bodies of the women whose fight was, by far, the best of the day.

“It was a good fight and she is a very good boxer.

Now I need to rest because I have other things to do,” Esther said, surely needing a rest.

In supporting bouts, Kennedy Kanyanta registered his presence in the professional ranks after he knocked out Mpundu Mutale in the third round of the scheduled six in a bantamweight non-title fight.

The 2002 Commonwealth gold medallist showed he was a classical boxer, with his ring antics and body swerves which Mutale had no answers for.

Devastating blows left Mutale dazed and was rescued by referee Felix Phiri who stopped the fight in the third round.

In the Global Boxing Union (GBU) cruiserweight elimination fight, Douglas “Buster” Chilembe also knocked out Raymond Onyango of Kenya in the third round of the scheduled six rounds.

Chilembe went for the killer punch and he saw an opening in the face of the Kenyan whom he punished until his corner threw in the towel.

That fight was followed by drama as former national heavyweight champion, Joseph “Ramos” Phiri lost on unanimous points to Osward Shabani of Tanzania.

Phiri was content not throwing any punch and there was no way he could have won the fight against a seemingly more accomplished Tanzanian.

In other bouts, Emmanuel Simbeye knocked out Mubiri Taribu of Kenya in the fourth round while Floyd “Six” Chongo struggled to outpoint a sluggish Osward Menono who had no attribute of a boxer.

Abias Silupumbe was given what looked like a false verdict against Nelson Banda in the lightweight non-tile fight while in the women’s contest; Roydah Mushukano beat Maggie Ligililani on a split-point decision.

Times of Zambia

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14 COMMENTS

  1. Why did Esther win a loss? Namulambe should be ashamed. The American was cheated outright. Ba Cottan mugaiwa tailebaaza, try ubwamale. To me Esther is not a fighter just a chancer. Rematch! You guys have just managed to deny our girl a chance to develop and improve. Ba Mwamba it’s a robbery mudala!

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  2. Of course, Esther was not her best but she tried. She could have done better than that! Work hard Esther, we are proud of you. Do not underrate your opponent. The world is bigger than Zambia!! Make us proud again

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  3. In boxing if u fail to knock down the Champion 4get about winning.Well done Esther atleast she earned the belt this tym around

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  4. Well done Esther. According to a close friend who watched the bout, Esther’s victory was clearly a home town decision. As Wanzelu put in #3, if u fail to knock down the champ, then you are definately a loser. Congrats sister Esther.

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  5. Tell us those who know boxing what it means to win on split points. Already someone has educated us that if u fail to knock down the Champion forget about winning.

    To some of us we doubt the girl’s victory. It is a lesson to the Trainer and herself to pull up their socks cause they have a long way to go.

    She needs to learn to fight like she fought her.

    Nevertheless CONGRATES!!!

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  6. I remember in the late 90’s there was a Zambian boxer who was severely beaten by a visiting Malawian. The Zambian was declared winner surprisingly. A few weeks later he died after severe headache as a result of the punches he received from the Malawian. His death was subsequently attributed to cerebral malaria. Boxing referees and judges should learn to give credit where its due.

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  7. Choosing oponents for a champion is a very crafty arrangement. Holmes was a Champion for many yers because his handlers was very careful with his opponent.When I looked at the fight record of Esther’s opponent before the fight I knew she would be in trouble.Gibson Nwosu and George Francis were very clever when picking opponents for Lottie Mwale early in his career.They statted giving him strong opnents when he was around 27 years and had more than thirty fights. Anthony learn

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  8. Being a lay man and the first fight I watch for Esther, but without fear or favour our dear Esther lost this time around. My advice to the promoters is expose her to the aside world, she should challenge her title outside the country.

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  9. #3 u right that is how it is. Away from home ni KO and nothing else, nomba ba Mwamba nangu Mwaba nabo ba nesheko uku nina pa li………….naleka tata

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  10. # 8 I disagree with u. Lottie was fighting boxers below class, his main test was when he had a meeting with Saad Mohammed, Lottie unbeaten, he was whacked like a dog, 4th round chapwa, ba Gundu ifwyo ba pwile. Bushe uyu galo ati Esther elya bealt she has she is not a world Champion takwaba, inter continetal belt is nothing but it is belt that can get you on the path to big names. Ifye she is a world Champoin awe

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  11. that fight was a sham!How can u seriously say esther won?She was the one who was bruised.Shame on u judges.You are incompetent and useless.What nonsesne!!
    Viva to Belinda!!She won that fight outright!!

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