Unbeaten Joshua Wahab dominated Tanzania’s Muksini Swalehe, delivering a fifth-round TKO to capture the WBO Africa Super Featherweight title Sunday night at Nu Rock Event Centre & Hotel in Lagos Nigeria.
It was as good a performance as Wahab (21-0, 14 KOs) could deliver given the whirlwind of circumstances in recent weeks. Wahab was originally slated to fight South Africa’s Anthony Moloisane in Ghana on July 10. However, the fight was cancelled once it was learned that BoxRec.com, boxing’s official record keeper, no longer recognizes fights in Ghana due to a lack of ethical practices.
Fighting against a new opponent on days’ notice, Wahab shined, controlling the bout from the outset by flooring Swalehe in the first with a left hook-straight right hook combination. Swalehe (8-1-1, 1 KO) bravely rose and made it out of the round but never seriously threatened.
Round after round, Wahab dictated the distance, using his height and reach advantage to keep Swalehe at bay behind a busy jab. The Ghana-based Nigerian worked the body throughout, slowly breaking Swalehe down. The latter was a spent force in the fifth, although he never stopped trying. Another combination floored him early in the frame — he was in no shape to continue when he arose.
Afterward, Wahab’s promoter, US-based Lou DiBella of DiBella Entertainment, was effusive in his praise.
“Excellent win for Joshua Wahab, a physically gifted young fighter who reminds me of a less experience Richard Commey,” said DiBella. “He’s physically gifted and representative of the new generation of emerging boxing talent in Africa. With his manager, Michael Amoo-Bediako, I look forward to providing him with the opportunity to fulfill his world championship dreams.
DiBella, the former head of HBO Boxing, is no stranger to finding talent in Ghana. He’s also promoted Ike Quartey, Emmanuel “Gameboy” Tagoe and the aforementioned Commey. Like Wahab, Commey is managed by Amoo-Bediako of Streetwise Management. And as he did with Commey, it was Amoo-Bediako who brought Wahab to America’s DiBella.
The plan is for Wahab to get perhaps another fight under his belt in Africa before relocating to the US. Following his victory, the new champion immediately took to Facebook and posted: