By Sulayman Bah
Leket cut the figure of a politician whose party has lost a catastrophic by-election –in his case, a King of Arena crown.
He walked to the edges of the sacks shrugging his shoulder in the immediate aftermath of Hoyantan’s declaration as winner.
Routed too strong a term, Leket looked bemused, gesticulating his back hasn’t touched the ground perhaps in an apparent vain try at pride restoration.
His inner circle says he is still to come to terms with the confronting reality of relinquishing his jewel to someone he has taunted times without number and to a man he nearly had the liberty to fight away from the glares of cameras in faraway Farafenni. If that informal proposed fight had seen light of day, he would perhaps have been furnished with first-hand knowledge of what to expect of his adversary last Sunday.
Leket assumed the form an individual out of his comfort zone. He simply couldn’t provide answers to Hoyantan’s uncharacteristic fighting pattern, avoiding grappling by administering calculated pack of blows and hoping for the best.
Unfamiliar as it might have been, the game plan worked likely a freshly unleashed magic powder with a cornered Leket on the receiving end.
By the first ten minutes Hoyantan was all over him, delivering hooks and jabs while a poorly trained Leket in the art of boxing kept retreating, responding only at long intervals that barely inflicted damage if any.
Minutes before recess, the former Gambia national team captain was already needing severe medical attention as his nose bled.
For the neutrals, the duel simply lacked some spicing techniques, a major disenchantment compared to thrills the crowd were treated to in the undercard’s fights.
The club Ndongo Ceesay Juggernaut –Hoyantan –will go on to claim victory on grounds of warnings (2-0).
The truth however is, Leket lost even before started of the grand combat. Of all the nine combats he’s gotten involved since 2012, he somehow seems to escape punches even with his rather unprepossessing boxing skills.
The Barra man’s continuous reliant on grappling as a major arsenal in a sport mixed with blows, caught up with him. It’s three months from the time the deal was brokered to its execution day. Leket remains the most feared in traditional wrestling but a shift in focus on boxing would have spared him of the rot. Evident of his poor punching skills were exposed to the core in his battle with Manduwar -a rematch he won on warnings. Hoyantan, a bosom of Mandwuar, was looking closely from the fringes making mental notes of all that he required in his scheduled later duel with Leket.
It turned out that Manduwar was unleashed on Leket aimed at unlocking the then king of arena’s weakness hence the reason for his call out on Hoyantan.