Tetteh tumble sparks inquiry

Ishmael Tetteh can't beat the referee's count. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard
Ishmael Tetteh can't beat the referee's count. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard
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Challenger Ishmael Tetteh failed to recover from a “phantom punch” against Luke Blackledge.

The contest, aired live on BoxNation from Bolton Wanderers’ Macron Stadium, sparked an adverse reaction from subscribers to the channel when the Ghanaian hit the canvas in the fifth round of the bout and failed to beat referee Terry O’Connor’s count.

We pride ourselves on the many Commonwealth Champions who go on to World title success and we expect every challenger to put in 100% effort

Commonwealth Boxing Council Hon. Secretary Simon Block

The incident seemed innocuous at the time with replays suggesting that Tetteh, who had fought gallantly up to that point, had indeed evaded the swinging right from the title-holder which ultimately led to his questionable demise.

Following the bout between the two super-middleweights, where Blackledge retained his Commonwealth crown, Block said in a statement: “I have emailed Mr Anthony Kermah of Landmark Management and Promotions about the controversial ending to the challenge for our super-middleweight champion by voluntary challenger, Ishmael Tetteh.

“Tetteh started as the underdog but put in a spirited challenge during the preceding rounds prior to the sudden ending in round five when he was counted out by referee Terry O’Connor, up on his knees, apparently following the count clearly, and this having been completed, immediately rising to his feet looking completely unhurt.”

It went on: “His failure to arise before the completed count completely belied his plucky if crude efforts beforehand and has led to some marked and unfavourable reaction on social media.

“We will want a very good explanation from Mr Kermah, whose organisation has a long history with Commonwealth Championships and who was responsible for the negotiations with the promoter on the boxer’s behalf, prior to considering whether or not further action may be necessary.

“This sort of controversy, whether justified or not, undermines the work of the Directors of the Commonwealth Boxing Council in keeping our title to the forefront of the many international titles for which boxers of today may compete.

“We pride ourselves on the many Commonwealth Champions who go on to World title success and we expect every challenger to put in 100% effort.

“Mr Tetteh did this for the best part of five rounds and we now need to understand why it was that he was unwilling as opposed to unable, to get to his feet and continue.”

The British Boxing Board of Control have already moved to withhold Tetteh’s purse for the contest pending the result of further investigations.