Kenya’s Nick Mwangi can hold his head high despite losing to Britain’s O’Hara Davies Friday night at The Space in Dubai.
Davies (23-2, 16 KOs) captured the WBA international super lightweight title with a 10-round unanimous decision over the game Mwangi (10-4-1, 7 KOs). All three judges scored the fight 99-91.
Mwangi was unable to contain Davies’ left jab which he used effectively to control the fight. However, Davies was unable to land any significant power punches.
“I knew he had a powerful right but he always telegraphed the punch so it was easy to avoid it,” Mwangi told BoxingAfrica.com.
Davies seized control of the bout in the third, utilizing his long reach to keep Mwangi at bay.
“I tried closing the distance but he would step back throwing his jab and that forced me to break my rhythm,” said Mwangi whose punches did not find the range for the better part of the fight.
Although Davies struggled to land his right upstairs, a whipping one to the body hurt Mwangi in the fourth round.
“I could have quit in this round because he drained my strength but I fought on because this was an opportunity to prove to myself I could take on tough opponents,” Mwangi admitted.
Mwangi never threatened after that. Davies used his jab and experience to overcome the Kenyan, who took the fight on days’ notice when Davies’ original opponent, Venezuela’s Ismael Barroso, could not make it due to travel document issues.
Interviewed after his deserved victory, Davies said ring rust affected his performance. “I’ve been inactive for 14 months, my opponent is a great fighter, nice head movement and good footwork, I want to fight Ismael Barroso early next year,” said Davies.
Mwangi believes he did the best he could given the circumstances.
“I’m proud of myself fighting on the same card with big names in the business,” said Mwangi. “It was a golden opportunity for me to take on Davies. I knew he’s a good boxer, more experienced and stronger than me. I’m on the WBA elimination list now and that’s a milestone for me. I also fought in a different weight class at short notice. Next year, I’m moving down to lightweight to defend my title.”
Last September, Mwangi won the WBA Asia lightweight title by stopping previously unbeaten Sachin Dekwal of India in seven rounds.
“I thank God I had a very good year, I moved from where I was to another level by winning the title,” said Mwangi. “I’m looking forward to next year which will be busy. I will be defending my WBA Asia title. I’m waiting to be told who’s my next opponent.”
In other bouts featuring African boxers, Mwangi’s compatriot Sameer Anwar improved to 4-0 (3 KOs) with a four-round decision win over Azerbaijan’s Ramez Mamadov (1-2) in a junior welterweight fight while Ghana’s Emmanuel Danso (32-7, 26 KOs) was stopped in the second round of against former 168-pound titlist Rocky Fielding (29-2, 16 KOs) of the United Kingdom.