On this day, 2 August 2008 (Exactly 11 years ago) Joshua Clottey of Ghana beat American Zab Judah to win the vacant IBF welterweight title in Las Vegas.
The fight was stopped in the ninth round after Judah said he could not see due to a cut above his right eye. Referee Robert Byrd had ruled the cut was caused by an accidental clash of heads and so the fight went to the scorecards. Two judges scored it 86-85 for Clottey and the other 87-84 for the African fighter.
Clottey (35-2) connected with a right hand to Judah’s left eye in the ninth round that immediately sent blood rushing down his face. Ringside physician Dr. James Game examined Judah, who claimed he couldn’t see, and the fight was called at the 1:22 mark.
“He really hit with a lot of uppercuts, but I never felt anything,” Clottey said. “He never hurt me, trust me. In my boxing life, nobody has hurt me”.
The technical decision left the roughly 1,800 fans in an uproar.
The confident Judah, despite being dominated through parts of the
earlier rounds, had landed several combinations in the seventh and eighth and seemed to have momentum on his side.
“This just hurts, man. Everyone here knows who won,” said Judah, who had struggled to shake the perception that he’s never lived up to his potential. “Zab Judah is the peoples’ champion”.
Game examined Judah after the punch and said the battered fighter failed numerous eye tests. It was initially ruled an accidental head butt, but replays clearly showed Clottey landing a hard right hand.
“He couldn’t identify two or three fingers three times,” Games said.
It was just the third title shot for Clottey, who lost a bizarre disqualification to Carlos Baldomir in 1999 and a unanimous
decision to Margarito two years earlier, after Clottey broke both of his hands in a fight he appeared to be dominating.
Judah claims he sparred with Clottey at the famed Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn several years ago, but Clottey insists it was his brother, Emmanuel, who worked out with Judah. Joshua Clottey also
says Judah offered him $2,500 to spar four years before the fight, but he
angrily turned it down in a dispute that spilled into the streets.
When the two finally met in the ring, Clottey showed more aggressiveness early. He rocked Judah with an uppercut a few seconds in that caused Judah to lose his balance, and by the end of the round, Judah had blood running down his nose from the relentless jabs that he couldn’t fend off.
Judah responded with solid combinations in the middle rounds,the fight turning into an entertaining back-and-forth affair.
One that Judah thinks shouldn’t have been stopped.
“I sacrificed myself for this camp and did my best,” Judah said. “He thought I was going to break down, but I didn’t. I went ahead and did my best”.
On this day 2 August 2003 (Exactly 16 years ago today) Margaret Simpson, made history when she became the first woman to be crowned, Sports Personality of the year, at the Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG) 28th Annual Awards Night held in Accra.
Simpson’s history making feat was inspired by her outstanding performances, which won her bronze and gold at previous year’s Commonwealth Games held in Manchester and African Athletics Championship in Tunisia respectively.
Incidentally Simpson’s bronze medal in the heptathlon was the only medal Ghana won in the games.
The history making Sports Personality of the year award was not the only decoration Simpson won on the night as was she also declared the Athlete of the Year.
Simpson based in Mauritius flew down for the ceremony and was decorated by President John Agyekum Kufuor, who was the special guest of honour at the ceremony.
The then 20-year old athlete also received a special award from the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs in addiction to some fabrics from the Akosombo Textiles Limited (ATL), kits from Adidas, a carton of blue jeans energy drinks, from Budget Cash and Carry and a certificate of honour plus a trophy for each award.
Simpson told the GNA Sports after receiving her awards that she least expected the honour and expressed her appreciation to the association. “I had never dreamt that a day would come when I would be honoured in this manner to the extent of interacting with the head of state,” she said.
In other awards, Charles Taylor formerly of Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko received the award of the Footballer of the Year.
Taylor made it a double in a joint goal king award with Hearts Bernard Don Bortey after both scored 18 goals apiece in the 2002 season. Florence Okoe of La Ladies and a member of the women national team, Black Queens emerged as the female footballer of the year.
For scoring the highest number of goals the previous season, defending league Champions, Hearts of Oak took the award, which they had virtually made their own after winning it for the sixth consecutive year, with 72 goals.
Another record was broken when for the first time the Team of the Year’s Award went to the Black Queens who were gearing up for the fourth edition of the FIFA Women World Cup billed for the United States in September.
Alberta Sackey, skipper of the side, received the award.
The Discovery of the Year and the Most Promising Star awards went to Jordan Opoku and Kwadwo Poku of Feyenord Academy and Kumasi King Faisal respectively.
For scoring 19 times in the Greater Accra Hockey League in addition to his outstanding performance, Patrick Taylor was given the Hockey Star of the year award while Abena Amponsah Addo took home that of the females.
The Volleyball Star of the Year award went to Edward Seidu Adjanako Addo, while the Dedication and Valour award went Bobby Abdul Rahman of Real Tamale United (RTU).
James Toney emerged as the Professional Boxer of the Year while Joseph Willington was given the Referee of the Year award.
King Tony Akwetey was given a special certificate of honour for being the oldest marathoner at the age of 72, while Oko Niikoi Dzani also received certificates of honour for contributing to the development of hockey.
All the fifteen award winners took home a half piece of wax prints from the Akosombo Textiles Limited (ATL), sports kits from Adidas, a certificate, a carton of blue jeans energy from Budget Cash and Carry and a trophy each.
Certificates of honour were given to Nestle Ghana Limited and NDK financial services for contributing to the development of sports.
On this day 2 August 2018 (Exactly a year ago) Ghanaian sprinter Janet Amponsah won Ghana’s first medal, finishing second behind Ivorian Marie Josee Ta Lou in the women’s 100m final at the African Senior Athletics Championships in Asaba, Nigeria.
Amponsah crossed the finish line in 11.54sec, behind Marie -Josee Ta Lou (11.15sec), whom, she also finished second to in the heats events.
The silver medal is Amponsah’s first individual achievement at the biennial championships, having previously appeared at the event in 2012, 2014 and 2016.
Compatriot, Hor Halutie, just missed out on a medal, finishing 4th with a time of 11.61sec.
Amponsah was injured by a cameraman in the lead up to her race as she was testing the starting blocks.
She was pulled aside asked to pull out of the race for immediate medical attention but she insisted on running before eventually getting treatment for a cut across her chest.
Joy Udo – Gabriel of Nigeria was third.
On this day 2 August 1961 (Exactly 58 years ago today ) Asante Kotoko held Hearts of Oak at the Accra Sports Stadium in a 1961-62 FA Cup Semi-Final match.
Kotoko travelled to Accra with the following players: Kwao Baffoe, Kofi Ennin, Kwaku Tawiah, Opoku Mensah, Ben Kusi, Fred Akuffo (Captain), Wilberforce Mfum, Kwakye, Kwame Adarkwa, Issaka, Mohamed Salisu.
The match ended in a draw, each side scoring two goals .The match was fast and entertaining, and the large crowd had full value for their money. It was free from incidents, unlike the old days when fighting broke out between players and supporters of the two clubs, there was a friendly atmosphere throughout the match.
To enable readers to appreciate the sensation, drama and thrills, I quote below some extracts from the report of the match from the Ghanaian Times.
“By the beard of Allah, this finishing power of Asante Kotoko has become a soccer disease. And Accra Hearts of Oak, Ghana’s oldest first division team, are its most obsessed victims.
“Thirty-five thousand soccer fans found this out at the Accra Sports Stadium yesterday, when Hearts of Oak, only five minutes away from victory in the National Cup Semi – Finals match, found themselves reeling and tottering under a pulverising Kotoko finish.
“The result, Kotoko got the equaliser and very nearly stole the show with a lighting Wilberforce Mfum drive which beat goalkeeper Addoquaye Laryea but hit the crossbar and rebounded into play TEN SECONDS to full time.
“Extra time could not be played because of the finish of the marathon race which was the final event of the Founder’s Day Games athletic events.
“But Kotoko warmed into such devastating action, it would well be a happy omen for Hearts that they lived to go into a replay…”
Kotoko won the replay by six goals to five in one of the most exciting and dramatic semi-finals replay ever at the Kumasi Sports Stadium.
On this day 2 August 1952 (Exactly 67 years ago today) In the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament Final, Ferenc Puskas and Zoltan Czibor both scored as Hungary produced a 2-0 win over Yugoslavia as nearly 60,000 spectators at the olympic Stadium in Helsinki were entertained by one of the greatest football teams in history.
This Hungarian side was virtually the same as that which was to stun England at Wembley, 6- 3 in 1953, and the same team that would enter the 1954 FIFA World Cup as the favourites before succumbing to West Germany in the final, 3 – 2.
On this day 2 August 1980 (Exactly 39 years ago today ) Czechoslovakia beat East Germany 1 – 0 in the Gold Medal match of the 22nd Olympic Games at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
On this day 2 August 1996 (Exactly 23 years ago today) Brazil thrashed Portugal 5 -0 for bronze medal in the 1966 Olympic Games Men’s Football Tournament at the Standford Stadium.
Flavio Concecaio (11)
Bebeto (47, 54 penalty, 75)
On this day 2 August 1948 (Exactly 71 years ago today) Fanny Blankers-Koen of the Netherlands won the 100m gold in 11.9 seconds at the London Olympics; 1st of unprecedented 3 individual track & field gold medals.
On this day 2 August 1948 (Exactly 71 years ago today ) Danish swimmer Greta Anderson (1:06.3) touched out American Ann Curtis by 0.2 in the women’s 100m freestyle final at the London Olympics
On this day 2 August 1952 (Exactly 67 years ago today ) 17- year-old future world champion Floyd Patterson won the gold medal in the middleweight division at the Helsinki Olympic Games with a 1st round KO of Romanian Vasile Tita
On this day 2 August 1992 (Exactly 27 years ago today) American Jacki Joyner-Kersee became first athlete to win consecutive gold medals in the gruelling heptathlon with a 199 point win over Irina Belova (Soviet Union) at the Barcelona Olympics .
On this day 2 August 1992 (Exactly 27 years ago today) Vitaly Scherbo of Belarus became the first gymnast to win 6 gold medals at one Olympics in Barcelona, also first to win 4 gold in one day’s competition (pommel, vault, rings & parallel bars)
On this day 2 August 1980 (Exactly 39 years ago today) Cuban super-heavyweight Teofilo Stevenson became the 1st fighter to win 3 Olympic gold medals in the same division, scored 4-1 points decision over Pyotr Zayev (Soviet Union) in Moscow
On this day 2 August 1996 (Exactly 23 years ago today ) The star-studded United States men’s basketball team beat Yugoslavia 95-69 to win the gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics
On this day 2 August 2009 (Exactly 10 years ago today) Michael Phelps ended the World Swimming Championships in Rome with his 5th gold medal as part of the US 4x100m medley relay team that recorded the 43rd world record of the controversial meet.
On this day 2 August 2012 (Exactly 7 years ago today) American swimmer Michael Phelps won an unprecedented third consecutive gold medal in the 200m individual medley in 1:54.27 at the London Olympics.
On this day 2 August 2012 (Exactly 7 years ago today) American swimmer Rebecca Soni became first woman to win the 200m breaststroke twice with a world record 2:19.59 at the London Olympics.
STORIES: GEORGE MAHAMAH