By David Finger
Undefeated WBO Africa Middleweight champion Walter Kautondokwa of Namibia established himself as one of the elite contenders in the middleweight division last night (June 16, 2017) as he dominated Ghana’s Obodai Sai in Sai’s backyard in Accra. Kautondokwa used an effective jab early in the fight and tried to keep his distance against the wild and aggressive Sai. Although Sai often fired wild right hands from long range, he nonetheless appeared to be finding his range and closing the gap against the taller man, who fought in a style similar to Lennox Lewis.
But by round three the tide began to clearly turn in favor of the Namibian. Sai continued to stalk the Namibian, but he was unable to turn the fight into the phone booth war he wanted and soon eased up on his pressure. This allowed Kautondokwa to dominate the round with the jab. Sai was rattled in the 4th round when, after landing a pair of solid left hooks on the inside, he in turn ate a sharp counter left hook from Kautondokwa that had him backing up into the ropes. Sai tried to brawl with the undefeated Namibian but clearly was the loser of the exchanges on the inside. The dominance from Kautondokwa encouraged him to allow Sai to come in closer as he began to abandon the jab and try and land another hard counter shot that would end the fight.
The end came early in round five as Sai’s offense became completely nullified by the Namibian. Walking in with little offense, Sai would cover up well but would neglect to fire anything of his own. Eventually Kautondokwa’s relentless pressure paid off as another picture perfect left hook badly rattled Sai. Sai stumbled back into the ropes but was quickly felled by a crushing overhand right that sent him to his knees. Although Sai rose on wobbly legs the fight was waved off by referee Roger Barnor. With the win the Namibian defends his WBO Africa belt as well as picks up the IBF Africa Middleweight title. He is expected to jump up from his current #10 spot in the WBO ratings and sees his record improve to 15-0, 14 KOs. Sai, who entered the fight with the WBO Interim Africa title and a #12 ranking by the WBO, drops to 32-3, 24 KOs.
The fight was broadcast online by Ghanaweb.
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