Malawian boxer Isaac Chilemba, though he lost to Russian Sergey Kovalev on Monday night through points, should still be regarded as our hero. He was alone out there in one of the most terrible parts of the world in Ekaterinburg, Russia.
He not only lasted the distance but media reports suggest that the judges may have been slightly harsh in their 117-110, 116-111 and 118-109 decision.
Here is one man from the ghetto of Ndirande Township we can be proud of for trying a shot at three world light-heavyweights titles, WBA, IBF and WBO and prove his mettle by recovering from a seventh round knockdown to survive up to the 12th round.
Chilemba is proving to be a stubborn opponent — he also controversially lost his previous fight on points to Eleider Alvarez in November andon Monday night, he is reported to have technically outshone his Russian opponent.
Kovalev had his Russian crowd behind him but Chilemba stood firm all the way to the last round.
He is our hero and he is determined to carry our flag higher. But I guess coming from such a backward country like ours, though he is associated with South Africa, he does have some disadvantages.
In my opinion, these bouts are staged. Look, even before this fight it was assumed this was going to be a walkover for Kovalev because it was judged to be a mismatch for the Russian.
Writing in Boxing News last week, boxing expert Allan Fox said Chilemba’s youth at 29 isn’t enough advantage “for him to gain any real advantage in this fight because he likely won’t be around by the later rounds anyway due to the shots he’s going to be getting hit with by Kovalev.”
The focus was on Kovalev’s next fight — to defend the same WBA, IBF and WBO world light-heavyweights titles against former champion Andre Ward on November 19.
This was like a formality fight because Kovalev had already arranged the November bout against Ward, which was clearly a total disrespect to Chilemba.
It could have been staged that Chilemba should lose this fight, I mean how else could he have survived all the 12 rounds. If Kovalev was up to it, he should habe knocked out Chilemba to prove his mettle that his best chaĺlenge is against Ward.
All in all, let’s congratulate our own Chilemba, who has lasted the distance and as of July 2016, the former IBO super-middleweight and WBC International light-heavyweight champion, is ranked by The Ring magazine as the world’s seventh best light-heavyweight.
And for youngsters aspiring to achieve Chilemba’s status, continue working hard because he did not reach this far on a silver platter — he met the best and beat them to earn recognition from the world that catapulted him to set foot in Russia against one of their best boxers.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :