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“If I don’t stop Bastie in round six you can drive me into the bush. If I don’t stop him in round six don’t let me walk on the streets of Accra. I will beat and kill him,” a claim all too familiar to many, particularly, followers of the Bukom based boxer, Braimah Kamoko, popularly known as Bukom Banku.
The boxer cum comedian has carved a niche of talking up his credentials ahead of his boxing matches and until Saturday, October 21, 2017, had excelled in living up to his claims.
Born on August 17, 1980, Banku, until his last fight, had managed an enviable record of 28 victories, 21 of them knockouts with no loss since he began his professional boxing career. This feat according to many, may have been the basis for which he seemed exceptionally confident in his prowess and ability to defeat any opposition thrown at him.
His seeming confidence, seen by many as one of his stronger points was soon to be described as a major weakness as the man who describes himself as the African Mayweather was forced to eat humble pie on Saturday.
Dubbed the dream fight, the bout was to be the worst in the career of Braimah who days earlier had promised to stop Bastie Samir in the sixth round of the bout saying, “I don’t like that guy [Bastie], he talks too much and that is why I want to knock him out. I know He has fought outside Ghana but I am the boxing king in Ghana and I have the best coach. Ghanaians are saying he is the man to beat me and that angers me. I want to tell Ghanaians that this will be the easiest fight ever for me.”
The countdown was on and hours turned to minutes and subsequently, seconds, and then, the announcement of the main bout for the night. The several who had gathered at the Bukom Boxing Arena seemed expectant enough, perhaps not as much as others who could not show up at the venue for one reason or the other but made it a point to stay up late at night to see what will later become the one fight that brought Banku to his knees and literally get him to sit silently for a while.
With many glued to their seats, sets and site[www.ghanaweb.com] for updates, what looked certain to be a fight to watch unfolded as Bastie Samir walked into the ring, with an accompanying tune by R. Kelly, ‘Sign of victory’.
Then came Bukom Banku with an entourage as he walked in, ready to devour his opponent.
He went round the ring as if to thank supporters for the outstanding applause he was receiving and then made his way to the ring. Bukom Banku then displayed a placard with the number 6 on it. It was to reiterate his earlier promise to knock-out Bastie in the sixth round of the contest. The fight began, and the two, showed signs of a promising encounter with Banku particularly landing some pretty punches in the first round.
The second round of the contest was not too different from the first. The third however, gave indications to anyone in Banku’s corner that all may not be well as the undefeated boxer showed signs of tiredness at that early stage in the contest. Round 4 gave more compelling reason of how Banku’s age was telling on his performance even though he managed a bit of a comeback in the fifth round.
Then came the sixth round and Banku had exactly 3 minutes to live up to his bragging rights but the time flew faster than he may have envisioned as his performance gave little hope that a knock-out was imminent. Bastie however had plans of his own as a combination of punches from him forced Bukom Banku to the ground – a combination that would cause irreparable damage to the ego and perhaps the reputation of Bukom Banku as far as boxing is concerned. He was up almost immediately, as if to ‘tell off’ the defeat staring him in the face lending credence to the adage in Akan, ‘the spirit is willing despite the meekness of the body’. In the end, Banku had no option than to give in as blood oozed from an area close to his right eye. A prophesy fulfilled, just not to the right person.
It’s unclear how Banku intends to move on after this defeat and whether or not this experience will inspire a shift in Banku’s approach to future fights. Will a rematch of this epic encounter come off, well, that’s a question Braimah Kamoko, a.k.a Bukom Banku will have to answer after nursing his ego and fixing a broken eye.
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