IN a long time, MultiChoice haven’t given boxing fans the kind of extravaganza as they did this past weekend. On the table were three offerings, first, from South Africa, then Glasgow in Scotland and yet again from the Mecca of boxing the US.
And if you are the kind of fan that religiously follows the sport on the international scene, you will agree with me that MultiChoice had more surprises in store for the fans.
For the last couple of weeks, they ‘secretly’ brought back the American sports channel ESPN on Super Sport 207 after a hiatus of about six months.
ESPN has always been a household name on DStv through its Friday Night Fights and its absence from July 31, 2013, most certainly hit die-hard fans in the face like a punch.
At Emperors Palace, Kempton Park, Gauteng, South Africa Hekkie Budler (26- 25 (KO 8) – 1 took the vacant World Boxing Association and the International Boxing Organization minimum weight titles with a vicious first round KO of Colombian Karluis Diaz (26- 21 (KO 14) – 5 (KO 4).
Diaz was coming in when he met a brutal, crashing right hand from the dimunitive South African (aka the Executioner).
Undefeated American southpaw, Terence Crawford (22-0), dethroned former WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns, 40- 36 (KO 11) – 3 -1 via a 12 round unanimous points decision in a thrilling contest at the Scottish Exhibition Centre, Glasgow, Scotland. Burns tried, but failed, to find a way of solving the puzzle that was Crawford with his unorthodox style.
And then Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, silenced critics by winning a 12 round unanimous points decision again at the Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas, USA to take the vacant WBC Continental Americas super middleweight title in a grudge re-match against Bryan Vera, (23-7-0), the man most fans felt won their first encounter six months ago.
In that fight, a controversial unanimous points decision, many felt the fight was closer than the judges scored it: Gwen Adair 98-92, Carla Caiz 96-94, Marty Denkin 97-93 all in favour of Chavez who was ‘handed’ what has been described as a ‘business decision.’
Last week’s rematch was an action-packed encounter with both fighters having good moments of their own over 12 ‘short’ rounds, although Chavez appeared to land the harder shots.
And so, in terms of viewing hours, assuming one watched all the undercard and the main events from South Africa, Scotland and the States, thousands of kilometers apart, Multi – Choice gave us some 15 hours of non-stop boxing action!
But wait a minute. If you also watched the Friday Night Fights like me which come live on Super Sport 207 in the early hours of Saturday, you are talking about 20 hours of marathon fistic entertainment.
I salute MultiChoice for this rare offering and would encourage them to repeat their ‘mistake’ in future.
Next week, look out for a preview of the double header WBC silver and international title fights pitting Zambia’s rising heroin Catherine Phiri and Pia Mazelanik of Germany and Charles Manyuchi –Patrick Allotey of Ghana.
On December 2, 1990, to be precise, legend Lottie Mwale knocked out Ghanaian Ray Acquaye in round eight in Lusaka to take the then vacant WBC International light heavyweight title.
This was certainly a great fight as the gamely Ghanaian came to fight before being stopped by a superior opponent.
The good news is that, if you missed the first WBC fight on Zambian soil you can relax because Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions, the stable of Catherine and Manyuchi will be screening that epic battle as a prelude to the main show on March 15, according to operations director Chris Malunga.
I don’t know about you, but this is the kind of fight you can’t afford to miss. Fast forward to March 15 for another boxing bonanza.