Manchester - Ekow Essuman retained his British and Commonwealth welterweight championships against Chris Kongo by majority decision in a close fight. Both men fought at a close, technical pace for most of the fight.
Chris Kongo controlled the first third of the fight, dictating the fight’s pace and landing considerably more than Essuman. Essuman came forward and did make the fight uncomfortable for Kongo at times from the 5th round onwards, taking the fight to Kongo and making it an inside fight.
The middle rounds of the fight were razor close, and both men had periods of success. Essuman landed a barrage of shots in the final minute of the 9th round, that badly hurt Kongo and left him reeling and doing everything in his power to weather the storm.
Essuman used the momentum from his 9th round success to keep the pressure on for the final three rounds and keep landing. Essuman landed a big right hand in the final round to badly hurt Kongo for a second time, but once again Kongo weathered the storm and lasted until the final bell.
The champion credited his experience in distance fights as a key factor in his ability to rally down the stretch in a close contest.
"As I said from the start, it was just the experience of having those longer fights, those other 12-rounders, those really hard fights where I had to dig in deep," Essuman reflected.
"The proof is in the pudding. Boxing's about what you can do when you're tired, not about what you can do when you're fit, and my name's 'Engine.'"