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Sports News of Sunday, 20 September 2020

Source: Happy 98.9FM

Today in Sports History: DK Poison wins Ghana's first boxing title after beating Mexico's Ruben Olivares

On this day 20 September 1975 (Exactly 45 years ago today) David ‘Poison,’ Kotei became the first Ghanaian professional boxer to win a world title after beating Mexico’s Ruben ‘Mr Knockout’ Olivares by split point decision in California.

Saturday Night – September 20, 1975

The Forum – Los Angeles, California Promoter: Don Fraser

WBC Featherweight Championship

Tale of the Tape

Ruben ‘Mr. Knockout’ Olivares (Mexico)
WBC Featherweight Champion
Record………80-5-1 (71 KO’s)
Age………….28 years, 8 months
Height……….5? 5 1/2?
Reach……….67?

David ‘Poison’ Kotei (Ghana)

1 WBC Featherweight and British-Commonwealth Featherweight ChampionRecord………29-2-2 (18 KO’s)
Age………….24 years, 9 months
Height……….5? 7 1/2?
Reach……….68 1/2?

Betting Favourite – (Ruben Olivares) 10-8

Ruben Olivares was making the ‘1st- defence of his WBC Championship.

Fight Purses, {Ruben Olivares $80,000} – {David Kotei $15,000 – plus an additional $5000 for British Broadcast fee’s}

The 28-year-old Champion still had the ‘punching power’, but his speed had diminished with age. Reports were flying through Los Angeles that Ruben had been partying more than training.

Also, Ruben did not regard David Kotey as a difficult challenge, and believed he will have no problem with the little known number one WBC Featherweight contender, and predicted he will win easily.

The 24-year-old Ghanaian had been training in Los Angeles for 3-weeks, and the muscular Kotey looked very good in sparring sessions. ‘DK Poison’ was fast and had a very good left hook, to go along with an explosive right-hand.

Francis Clottley, Kotei's trainer, had brought in Cheikie Ferrera to help in preparing Kotei for the Champion.

The Fight

The ‘fast-handed David Kotei opened up in round one with a fast on-slaught and stunned the ‘slow-starting’ Ruben Olivares with a right-hand, and then dropped the Champion with a left hook.

The young and powerful Ghanaian controlled the early rounds, with quick hard right hands, and then backed away looking to counter with his hard left hook.

Despite being outspent, the 28-year-old Champion dug in and started whacking away with his left-right body punches in the middle rounds. The Champion was able to back Kotei up and closed
the gap on the scorecards by round eight.

In a back-and-forth fight in rounds nine and ten, Kotey was able to land fast one-two’s, and back off before being countered. While the Champion continued to throw hard left-rights to the body.

But by round eleven, Olivares looked to be ‘out-of-steam’, as Kotei scored with quick left-rights to the head, and then used fresher legs to avoid any of the Champion’s counter-punches.

In the twelfth round, both fighters clashed heads, and the Champion came away with a bad cut over the left eye.

The Challenger used that cut, to go aggressive, as he scored with several sharp punches on the partially blinded Champion.

Entering round thirteen, the challenger was ahead on the scorecards and fought defensively, and smartly boxed
by jabbing and using his quick legs to stay away from a ‘stalking’ Olivares.

The Champion, realizing he needed to win the last two rounds big, put together a late rally in rounds fourteen and fifteen by scoring with more punches, but they lacked any power to hurt the younger David Kotei.

Scorecards;
Referee: Rudy Jordan………145-144 (Ruben Olivares)
Judge, Dick Young………….143-142 (David Kotey)
Judge, Chuck Hassett………144-143 (David Kotey)

Most of the ringside press, had David Kotei winning by a 144-142 scorecard.

Associated Press…………..142-141 (David Kotey)
Los Angeles Times………….144-141 (Ruben Olivares)

United Press: ‘The Champion was sluggish, and showed little skills last night. The Challenger was the better boxer, and was a clear winner.” UPI Scorecard 144-141 for David Kotei.

David Kotei: “I had a fight plan, and it worked. Ruben was excellent as a Bantamweight, but he’s not as good
at Featherweight.”

Ruben Olivares: “He was very fast early in the bout, but I took over and won nine of the rounds. I was sure that the last two rounds won it for me.”

The 7861 pro-Olivares fans at The Forum erupted in boo’s after the decision was announced, and rioted. Several hundred fans stormed the ring and attacked David Kotei, his cornermen, and the Ghanaian contingent.

What Next?

David ‘Poison’ Kotei was supposed to make the ‘first defence’ of his Championship versus Shig Fukuyama on December 21, 1975, but contractual problems could not be corrected.

So ‘Poison’ took a non-title bout versus ‘tough’ Featherweight David Sotello 38-12-2 (16 KO’s) in Accra, Ghana. He won a very close 10-round decision in front of 30,000 Ghanaian fans.

D.K. Poison successfully defended the title against Flipper Uehara and Shig Fukuyama, before losing it in his third defence on 6 November 1976 by unanimous points decision to Danny “Little Red” Lopez in a fierce fight in Accra, Ghana.

Elsewhere;
On this day 20 September 2007 (Exactly 13 years ago today) Ghana’s Black Queens crowned their embarrassing appearance at the 5th FIFA Women’s World Cup in China with a 2-7 bashing at the hands of Norway in their last Group C game played at the Hangzhou Stadium.

The Queens conceded three goals before the break and a further four in the second half before skipper Adjoa Bayor and Florence Okoe pulled two face-saving goals back.

Coach Isaac Paha’s decision to start Gladys Enti in post ahead of number one Meimunatu Sulemana proved disastrous on yet another day that the Queens lacked vision and everything to upset any opponent. Enti who made elementary mistakes, picked the first ball from the net as early as the third minute when Lane Stroklokken sent her flat-footed in a goalmouth scramble.

The Norwegians, who by the victory finished as group winners with seven points, controlled the game as they caged the Ghanaian midfield in the process.

Ghana, however, came closest on the 28-minute mark when the skipper Adjoa Bayor tested the victor’s goalkeeper Bente Nordby with a long-range drive that drove applause from the 54,000 filled Hangzhou Dragon Stadium fans that have kept faith with the abysmal Queens.

Then came Tahiru Rumanatu’s effort eight minutes later. The player gifted from a fine move initiated by Bayor and cooked by Anita Amankwah, but with keeper Nordby well beaten, the debutant squeezed the ball to the side netting to make nonsense of the screams that preceded her effort.

The eventual Most Valuable Player of the match, (MVP) Ragnhild Gulbrandsen who hit a hat trick taught Ghana how to do it with her first for the day when she profited from an offside trap that left the defence rudely exposed.

The third goal was to follow five minutes later with Ane Stangeland Horpestad connecting from the spot kick. Isabell Herlovsen, Gulbrandsen, Lise Klaveness, had their turns to wrap up the demolition exercise of the Queens.

The Queens lost all three matches at the competition in which they were making their third appearance. They lost 1-4 to Australia and 0-4 to Canada in the other group games.

Norway and Australia advanced to the round of eight from the group.

Ghana Line-up: Gladys Enti/Meimunatu Sulemana, Aminatu Ibrahim, Mavis Danso, Yaa Avoe, Doreen Awuah, Florence Okoe, Anita Aenuku/ Memuna Darku, Adjoa Bayor, Olivia Amoako, Tahiru Rumanatu and Anita Amankwaa.

By: George ‘Alan Green’ Mahamah

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