Ekow Essuman defeated Chris Kongo to retain his British and Commonwealth titles in Manchester.
‘The Engine’ proved his nickname as he kept up a relentless pace for 12 rounds to defeat Kongo by majority decision in a great fight.
In a fight that was viewed as 50/50, the champion landed the most meaningful punch of the first round, as a big hook landed heavily on Kongo, but ‘2 Slick’ took it well.
Kongo implemented his size advantage, as he attempted to keep Essuman on the end of his jab, however, ‘The Engine’ answered as he began to land jabs of his own.
The challenger stretched a lead as he continued to work behind his jab and kept Essuman at range. The champion grew into the fight in the fifth, raising the tempo as he began to manhandle Kongo as the fight began to be fought at close range.
Essuman clawed his way back, producing the better work of the two as the fight entered the eighth round, Kongo often tried keeping the champion on the end of his range, but Essuman would exploit any openings as he looked to gain a foothold in the fight.
Essuman had a huge ninth round, pinning Kongo against the ropes and landing big shots that visibly hurt ‘2 Slick.’ The champion built on his success as he looked to sing the pendulum totally into his favour, as he marched the challenger down.
Entering the championship rounds, both fighters knew it was tight. Essuman once again had his man against the ropes in the 11th, letting his hands go, causing Kongo all sorts of issues.
Everything was on the final round, with the general consensus being whoever won this round would win the fight. The champion would land a huge right hand over the top, stiffening the legs of the challenger who stumbled towards the ropes, ‘The Engine’ looked to capitalise but smothered his work, leading to referee Howard Foster calling a break. Kongo came back with some heavy shots of his own as the pair fought to the final bell.
The scorecards read 114-114, 116-113 and 115-114 with the latter scores being in favour of the champion, which confirmed the fourth successful defence of his British and Commonwealth welterweight titles. A very good fight, and don’t be surprised if we see a rematch of this one.
Ekow Essuman is still the British and Commonwealth champion 👑 pic.twitter.com/XAxwJCttQG
— Sky Sports Boxing (@SkySportsBoxing) January 21, 2023