Francis Cheka, the massively popular darling of Tanzanian boxing, is the new World Boxing Federation World Super Middleweight Champion after defeating tough American Phil “The Drill” Williams on Friday August 30 at the Diamond Jubilee Hall in Dar Es Salaam.
Cheka put on a dominant performance in front of 5000 fanatical fans, outfighting and outboxing Williams, using his wonderful left jab to control the pace. In round four the home-man dropped his foe with a right-left combination, but Williams managed to beat the count of South African referee Darryl Ribbink.
While Williams remained dangerous with his significant knockout-power throughout the fight, Cheka never looked in danger of losing, and after twelve rounds of boxing there was no real doubt as to who would be awarded the WBF championship belt.
Judges Fidel Hynes, John Chagu and Eddie Marshall scored the bout 116-113, 117-111 and 119-109 in favor of Francis Cheka, who improved his professional record to 30-7-1 (16). Phill Williams travels back to Minnesota with a deceiving 12-6-2 (11) ledger.
In the evening’s second WBF title fight, local rivals Thomas Mashali and Mada Maugo went at it for the vacant All Africa Super Middleweight crown. Both boxers had left most of their technical skills at home, and instead chose to go all out in what turned into a real war.
During the cause of the ten rounds, neither man gave an inch and continued to slug it out. It was not always petty, but it occasionally brought the spectators to their feat in excitement.
In the end the majority decision went to Mashali by scores of 95-94 from judges John Chagu and Darryl Ribbink, while Fidel Haynes had it even at 95-95. Referee was Eddie Marshall.
The new World Boxing Federation All Africa Super Middleweight Champion moved his record to 9-1-1 (5), and the losing co-challenger drops to 15-10 (11).
The Cheka vs. Williams, Mashali vs. Maugo WBF championship doubleheader, billed as “Title Night In Tanzania”, was promoted by Hall Of Fame Promotions. WBF President Howard Goldberg was in attendance to supervise and award the winners their belts, and former World Heavyweight Champion Francois Botha was at ringside doing TV commentary.