By Sulayman Bah and Abdoulie Fatty
Gambian wrestler Boy-Balla was over the weekend controversially declared winner by referees in a combat against a Senegalese wrestler.
The contest, the second time the Gambian is facing a Senegalese opponent in three years, drew hordes of wrestling mad-fans at the Serrekunda East mini-stadium.
Boy-Ball of Jabang Mbolloh, one of the country’s brightest prospects, was awarded winner against veteran wrestler Ousmane Diop once beaten by erstwhile Senegalese King of Arena Balla GayeII in the formative years of the Lion of Guediawaye’s career.
In what was a grand final staged by Nasiru Promotions, it took barely five minutes for Boy Balla to walk away with the winning flag.
Photo: the two wrestlers (Ousman left) and Boy-Balla (right) before start of the contest
The two wrestlers played it cautiously at the start of whistle by the referee, going into two minutes of hand-swinging without grappling.
Perhaps out of respect for the opponent Ousmane Diop of Charoi Mbolloh, Boy Balla kept a cool head in the opening stages but soon appeared to surge forward as Diop retreat steadily.
This pattern went on for minutes in the midst of agitation as anxiety hovered. The arbiter stopped the contest to award a warning to Diop.
Photo: Battle Begins as the wrestlers swing hands for minutes
Following this, the match’s pace took a slight shift as Boy-Balla attacked sending a hand packed punch before the duo grappled inside the perimeter sacks before they went sprawling outside the arena.
The referee upon consultations with his assistants then declared Boy-Balla winner as a stunned Ousmane watched in disbelief.