Ghana’s Joseph King-Kong Agbeko has been crowned the new IBO Bantamweight Champion after beating Columbia’s Luis Melendez in 12 rounds of exciting exchanges.
The Ghanaian won by a unanimous decision with referee Deon Dwarte of South Africa scoring the bout 117-111, Ataa Eddie Pappoe of Ghana, 119-111 and Laten Oumgar of the Netherlands also scoring the bout 117-113.
It was quite a difficult tussle for the Ghanaian who made a return to the ring for the first time in 15 months and was made to sweat for the victory.
After a cautious start in the first round the two pugilists threw caution to the wind in the second and traded lots of punches much to the excitement of the partisan crowd.
But it was the Columbian who came strongly with a spirited performance, attacking from all angles but failing to exert power in his flurry of punches.
Agbeko backtracked for most part of the rounds but came in with a well timed, accurate punches to the body of his opponent. In the fifth round, one of Agbeko’s favourite left hooks landed on the chin of Melendez which sent him wobbling temporarily but he recovered quickly. Agbeko failed to follow up with a deadly punch which was pretty much the story of the night.
Agbeko looked a bit rusty and had his opponent beaming with confidence as the bout went on but the Columbian also failed to land his punches well, even though many of them were thrown.
Agbeko won but through the hard way. He does have a lot of work to do if he should retain the title.
Meanwhile the Columbian believes the verdict was a bit exaggerated. Through his interpreter, he told journalists after the bout that he thought the bout was closer than the verdict had to show.
He said he is ready for a re-match anywhere, anytime.