Let the excus…explanations begin. Following his one-sided decision loss to WBA world super featherweight champion Alberto Machado, Ghana’s Rafael Mensah says he suffered an injury early in the fight that played a major role in the defeat.
What’s the injury, you ask?
“I got hurt early with a shot,” Mensah explained. “I had prepared and was keen to win the fight, unfortunately, it is not easy to dethrone a champion and the early injury did not help me much.”
In other words, Mensah was hit in the face. Pedestrians would describe that as an injury. Fighters call it boxing. Perhaps Mensah was unaware that Machado intended to hurt him.
Unfortunately, those weren’t Mensah’s worst comments. HBO analysts announced that the Ghanaian informed them that he’d never been paid in any of his prior 31 bouts. While Mensah’s purse may have been meager, the idea that he didn’t earn a single coin for any of those fights is questionable, at best. Surely, he would’ve asked for compensation after three bouts. Maybe four. But 30 bouts sounds like a well-concocted story. And if he did indeed decide to fight that many times without receiving anything, he has no one but himself to blame.
Mensah’s performance was a disappointment though not surprising. The 25-year-old boxer had never fought outside of his native Ghana. His opponents prior to this world title bout were subpar at best. Nevertheless, he showed valour in going the full 12 rounds after suffering a brutal knockdown in the first and a sustained beating that left the right side of his grill badly swollen.
Mensah’s logic may have been off, but at least he attributed the defeat to something that occurred in the ring. Ofori Asare, noted amateur coach and former Mensah trainer, told GNA Sports that the boxer lost because he changed management weeks before fight night.
“Mensah had only himself to blame for the defeat, after he ditched his camp (Landmark Promotions), had worked with for eight years, for the United States of America (USA) based Don King Promotions, a few days before the bout,” he said.
While the move may speak to Mensah’s character, it’s unlikely that remaining with his old management would’ve somehow transformed Mensah into a fighter he never was to begin with.
Indeed, the Mensah bout shines a light on the issues within Ghana’s pro ranks. Mensah may have deserted Landmark and perhaps he should be admonished for that, although no one can say for sure. But Landmark also deserves blame for doing little to develop a fighter, feeding him to stiffs that made his record look good with little substance behind it.
The excuses will continue, as will the finger pointing. Sadly, as the mouths continue to run, fans will be on the receiving end of nothing but hot air.