Kamuzu Barracks based enterprising boxer Crispin Moliati staged a dramatic late come back to rescue his lightweight belt from Malani ‘Executioner’ Kayuni who led the champion in the first nine rounds of a 12-round title bout held at Kamuzu Institute of Sports (KIS) Sunday evening.
Sponsored by Lilongwe based boxing outfit Fast Sports Boxing Promotions, the bout attracted a huge crowd that filled both the upper and lower chambers at the institute.
The boxing outfit, which is owned by Malawi Boxing Association (Maba) vice president Henry Sakala offered K150,000 for Moliati’s belt and K100,000 for the challenger.
The amounts were to be paid to the belt holder and contender irrespective of the outcome of the fight.
Coming onto the ring, the 23-year old Malani, young brother to Osgood Kayuni made his intention of wresting the bout from Moliati from round one as he bothered his opponent with heavy punches.
The challenger, who was enjoying vocal support from his fans continued with his dominance up to round nine, raising fears and discomfort amongst Moliati’s followers, including trainer retired lieutenant colonel Godfrey Jalale that the belt could be on its way out of the barracks.
Came round 10, things completely changed as Moliati came for the kill. Looking very tired and exhausted, Malani failed to defend himself against a barrage of punches from the champion.
Things turned worse for Malani at each passing moment and the boxer resorted to holding his opponent to in order to save himself and at the same time pass some time. By the last round, Kayuni had been reduced to a punch bag and it had to take the intervention of referee Fred Mchochoma to stop the bout and start counting.
Looking semi conscious, Kayuni could not raise his hands until the referee counted ten times, marking the end of the 12-round thriller.
An excited Moliati said after the bout that he was studying his opponents in the early rounds and knew that the challenger would get exhausted in the final rounds: “Malani is not a boxer. He just throws punches anyhow but I am a tactical boxer and I know how to deal with such opponents.
“This belt belongs to the Army Commander and there was no way I was going to let it go. I am a soldier and endurance is one of the characteristics of a good soldier,” said Moliati.
Kayuni disputed the outcome of the bout, saying the referee never counted for him.
“The referee never counted. He asked me if I was going to continue and I said yes but he stopped the bout. I am very
disappointed with what has happened. I won this bout,” he charged.