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Miguel Berchelt beat Ghana’s Maxwell Awuku to retain WBC title

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WBC super featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt (33-1, 29 KOs) made easy work of replacement opponent Maxwell Awuku (44-4-1, 30 KOs) in stopping him in the 3rd round on Saturday night at the Oasis Arena in Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico.

Berchelt flattened Awuku twice in the 3rd round. Berchelt finished the job after the second knockdown in connecting with several hard shots that caused the referee to stop the fight. Awuku was still upright when referee Hector Afu stopped the fight.

If the referee had waited a moment longer before stopping the fight, Berchelt would have knocked Awuku down for a third time. The fight was stopped at 2:46 of round 3. Awuku wasn’t hurt as bad he could have been if not for the quick actions by Afu in pulling the plug on the fight.

Knockdown No.1 in the 3rd round came from a right hand from Berchelt that put Awuku down on his backside. Moments before that, Berchelt had hurt Awuku with 2 hard shots to the head. Awuku had talent the shots, but his legs looked rubbery, Berchelt then put Awuku down with the next right. Knockdown No.2 in the 3rd round came from Berchelt landing a blizzard of shots of Awuku after he’d backed up against the ropes. Awuku slid down onto the canvas after taking the punches.

Surprisingly, Awuku didn’t look that hurt. He was hurt obviously enough for him to go down, but he wasn’t staggering or swaying after he got back to his feet.

If Awuku was in that kind of shape, the referee would have stopped the fight. Awuku’s corner should have thrown in the towel after the 2nd knockdown, because he was just keep going down if he referee hadn’t stopped the contest. Berchelt was too strong for Awuku, and he wasn’t going to let up on him.

The southpaw Awuku landed some shots in all 3 rounds. Awuku was catching Berchelt, 26, coming in and backing away. The punches weren’t hard enough to hurt Berchelt.

That was the problem. Awuku didn’t have the power to keep Berchelt off of him or make him pay when he would come forward to land his punches.

”I feel very happy and satisfied,” Berchelt said after the fight via Fight News. ”his is a very special night for me. I fulfilled a dream I had as a child. I didn’t feel a punch and from the first knockdown know I would knock him out,” Berchelt said.

There was never any doubt that Berchelt wasn’t going to knockout Awuku. This is what Berchelt was expected to do with him fighting a guy that is unranked and just pulled in as a replacement.

It’s too bad that Berchelt didn’t have a good opponent for the fight like Miguel Roman because it would have been a lot more interesting fight to watch.

Source: Boxing247.com

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How the GFA intervened to avoid a CAF Champions League disaster for Aduana

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Libyan side Al Tahidi have finally agreed to play Ghanaian champions Aduana Stars in the second-leg of their CAF Champions League clash after rejecting Dormaa Ahenkro as Wednesday’s venue for the game.

An intervention by the Ghana FA with full assurances of a police motorcade on their journey from Kumasi to Dormaa and back ensured the Libyan reversed their threat of not playing the match.

The Libyan had threatened not to play the match in the Brong Ahafo region citing the road travelling distance from Kumasi to Dormaa Ahenkro of more than 200km violating CAF rules.

The CAF rules state that home teams must ensure that visiting teams travel by air from the capital of the country if the road journey is more than 200km.

With no airport in Dormaa Ahenkro, it is impossible to fly the team by air from Kumasi.

Al Tahidi insisted on playing the match in Kumasi or Accra where their travel would fall in line with CAF requirements or would refuse to play the match and file a protest.

The threat of not playing the match forced the Ghana FA to dispatch two of its top officials Alex Asante and Osei Tutu from Accra to Kumasi where the Libyans are based to make overtures.

The mediation by the GFA yielded results with the Libyans now agreeing to travel to play the match in Dormaa Ahenko as the home side spent millions in putting their stadium in shape.

Al Tahidi will be driven to Sunyani on Tuesday at 9am by bus in the company of a dispatch rider full with police security.

They will stay at Sunyani and train at Dormaa on Tuesday evening and come back to Sunyani from where they will travel to play the game on Wednesday.

The police dispatch rider and bus will take the Al Tahidi to Kumasi after the game from where they will be flown to Accra by African World Airlines so that they connect to Tripoli on Thursday morning at 11:30am.

This intervention by the GFA ensured that the Libyans changed their minds as the rules were stacked against Aduana. The millions spent by the owner of the club to put the stadium in shape of the match would have gone to waste and most importantly they could have lost the match in the board room.

Aduana will be seeking to overturn their 1-0 deficit from the first leg at the refurbished Nana Agyemang Badu Park with the full support of their teeming fans.

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Asante Kotoko chief increases travelling allowance for players to US$ 400 each ahead CARA Brazzaville clash

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Asante Kotoko players have had their travelling allowance upped from US$ 300 to US$ 400 ahead of their CAF Confederation Cup qualifier against CARA Brazzaville on Wednesday.

The team arrived in the Congolese capital on Monday and according to the club’s Twitter handle, Executive Chairman Dr Kwame Kyei paid the allowances after breakfast.

This is huge financial motivation for the players to punch above their weights to advance to the next round.

Kotoko managed a slim 1-0 win in the first leg.

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Sleepless nights for Chelsea coach

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Chelsea boss, Antonio Conte, says he had had trouble sleeping as his side prepare for Tuesday’s Champions League last-16 tie against Barcelona at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues have won just four of their past 12 games in all competitions.

Barcelona are in contention to win the treble, and are unbeaten in La Liga, which they lead by seven points.

“This team is one of the best in the world – maybe they are favourites to win this competition,” said Conte.

“On the other hand, we must be excited because we have a great opportunity to play a massive game against a really strong team and to show which is our level,” the Italian added. “We have to try to have the perfect game.”

Chelsea lost their EFL Cup semi-final against Arsenal in January, followed by Premier League defeats by Bournemouth and Watford.

They have started to turn their poor form around, with a league win against West Brom on 12 February, followed by Friday’s FA Cup fifth-round win against Hull.

Conte’s future has been the subject of debate this season and following the Barcelona match, his side face a key game against Manchester United in the league on Sunday.

“In these days after the game in the FA Cup, I must be honest… it was a bit difficult to sleep well,” said Conte.

“When you have to play this type of game, you have to prepare. You have to prepare everything. You have to prepare big things, but the smaller details too.”

Chelsea last beat Barcelona in 2012 in the Champions League semi-finals and went on to win the competition for the first time.

Barca’s top scorer this season, Lionel Messi, is yet to score in eight appearances against the Blues.

“We are talking about the best player in the world,” added Conte. “Messi has the capacity to solve situations, create a chance when you are not seeing the chance to score. This means we are talking about a fantastic player.”

Marcos Alonso and Ross Barkley, who have missed Chelsea’s last three games, trained on Monday, but David Luiz and Tiemoue Bakayoko were absent.

Barcelona centre-back, Thomas Vermaelen, has travelled to London, but Philippe Coutinho is cup-tied, after playing for Liverpool in the group stages.

Match stats

. Chelsea and Barcelona are facing each other for the 13th time in the Champions League, the fifth-most played fixture in the competition.

. The London club are unbeaten in their last seven Champions League games against Barcelona (won two, drawn five).

. Barcelona have won only one of their six away games against Chelsea in the Champions League and they have never kept a clean sheet at Stamford Bridge.

. Chelsea will attempt to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 2013/14 – they are winless in their last six knockout games.

, Barcelona have reached the Champions League semi-finals only once in the last four seasons.

. Barcelona were one of four teams to remain unbeaten in this season’s Champions League group stages, alongside Besiktas, Liverpool and Tottenham.

. They also have the best defensive record in the Champions League this season, conceding only one goal in six games.

. Luis Suarez has failed to score in the last 791 minutes of play in the Champions League, his longest drought in the competition.

. Eden Hazard has scored three goals and delivered two assists in his last five Champions League games.

 

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