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Today In Sports History: Nana Yaw Konadu beat Cesar Polanco to win WBC Super Flyweight title

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On this day 11 March 1989 (Exactly 34 years ago today) Ghana’s Nana Yaw Konadu defeated Cesar Polanco of Dominican Republic for the World Boxing Council International Super Flyweight title at the Accra Sports Stadium.

A stunning appearance by the Dominican fighter elevated boxing to a grand scale in Accra but Ghanaian hero,= Marvellous Nana Yaw Konadu, established superior manhood to annex the title.

It was a masterful collision between Nana Yaw’s incredible strength and guts against Polanco’s finesse and innovation and at the end of the 12 round bonanza, power truimphed over guile and British sole referee/judge Larry O’connell declared Nana Yaw as 120-110 winner.

Nana Yaw himself knew that he possessed none of Polanco’s graceful foot work and dazzling ability to dance away from danger.

Conscious of that contrast in fighting styles , Nana Yaw employed aggression and showed gutsy willingness to risk danger even if it meant absorbing terrifying punches or spilling blood in pursuit of his target.

The side- shows were as magical as the event proper. The challenger’s entourage rich with trainers Baba Sumaila , Jose “Bufalo” Martinez and T. V. personality Super O. D., took the lead in line with boxing custom, into the ring.

Later the champion also made a magnificent appearance, about with less emotional crowd response but in a sparkling championship regalia, uniquely fashioned to suit the occasion.

During introduction time, reggae exponent Jimmy Cliff also took his turn but the most decisive diversion of attention occurred after some hectic exchanges in the nineth round when PNDC Chairman Jerry John Rawlings appeared, taking majestic strides towards ringside.

The mood of the fight was set right from the opening bell when Nana Yaw shot aggressively from his corner shooting powerful left jabs at his opponent.

But the intelligent champion, his chin well shielded on both sides, cooly parried off the early jabs.

As Polanco reduced Nana’s penetrating efforts into wasteful energy, Nana Yaw varied his style, stopping low and bobbing from left to right in search of an elusive target.

Polanco ventured successfully into Nan Yaw’s midsection and got through with some left and right shots but towards the end of the round, Nana replied with left and combinations to the head and drew ‘Asafo’ war songs from the crowd.

Round two opened in a fashion similar to it’s preceding one . A charging Nana Yaw accelerated in attack and the mean looking Polanco also increased his mobility to steer clear of Nana Yaw’s devastating jabs.

His feet churning rhythmically across the canvas, Polanco’s obvious intention was to drain Nana Yaw, who had scaled in at 8 stones, of more energy and then launch his own assault later in the fight but Nana Yaw caught him with more jabs and an uppercut he released in defence missed wildly to end the round.

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The creative champion varied his style at the beginning of the round three. He momentarily terminated his artful movement and invited a trade in punches to which Nana Yaw also obliged.

Nana emerge the stronger man but respect for each boxer soured forcing Nana Yaw to slow down at the beginning of round four.

Nana Yaw started picking his jabs with more precision and midway through the fourth, he caught the opponent flat on the face but the champion fought back gamely though Nana Yaw kept the pressurising.

A manly performance by the two boxers in the sixth round kept the crowd yelling as Nana Yaw rocked the champion’s head and Polanco weakened Nana at the mid- section.

After that round, Nana Yaw charged the more for the seventh round and rocked the champion’s head with a violent left upper cut. While Polanco retreated Nana Yaw was tempted into following up but the slippery champion swerved Nana Yaw into the corner and hit back gamely.

The round eight must have given Polanco the clearest signal that his hold on the title was endangered.

This was when Nana Yaw knocked him with a violent right and from the centre of the ring , the force of the punch dropping him into the ropes.

The resilient champion however bounced back into centre but in the nineth round when he abandoned his retreat to stand toe to toe, Polanco was shaken on a few more occasions.

Polanco realised from then that only a knock out could rescue the title for him and he came out clearly on top in the tenth round rocking Nana Yaw with such punches that the Ghanaian hero had never experienced before.

With visible signs of tiredness showing on Nana Yaw, any time he jabbed with the left, Polanco found an opening to hammer his jaw with a counter punch.

It happened three uncomfortable times for Nana Yaw and in round eleven the Ghanaian really found the Dominican very difficult to handle.

When the going got tough, the referee had on a number occasions, to warn Nana Yaw’s corner for screaming out instructions to their ward.

Each boxer put in everything in the last round and when the bell sounded for the end the winner was obvious.

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