By Sulayman Bah
The battle lines were long drawn from the day the promoter revealed the much-anticipated rematch between Manduwar and Leket will take place.
It’s a showdown expected to court even the least interested bloke in the streets to flock to the Independence Stadium.
Unavoidably, much has been said about the fight and the hype floating above the surface –just the required niche the promoter would like.
The athletes involved on the night both command a huge following more so Leket Bu Barra whose hordes of supporters would be emanating from Barra.
Leket is undefeated and doesn’t even have a draw under his belt which sums up a near immaculate career so far.
His opponent, Manduwar’s statistics are impressive but certainly not comparable to Leket’s who avid arena pundits prefer referring to as King of the Gambian Arena.
While Manduwar’s litany of faithful would dispute such honouring as cheap stunts especially giving the duo is scheduled to fight in forty-eight hours, outcome of Sunday’s game will offer to determine how far the two adversaries have come up.
Leket –former Gambia wrestling national team captain –secured the bragging rights in his first meeting with Manduwar. In that battle, five years to now, it took Leket less than three minutes to send Manduwar packing.
Manduwar relied on his punching prowess but it certainly let him down as the two closed ranks.
With boxing not his biggest point, Leket kept a cool head and patiently trailed his retreating opponent. Grappling ensued after two minutes as Leket emerged victor unscathed, pinning Manduwar, sending him sprawling back, first in the sands.
Calls for a rematch have been rife but pundits felt the occasion wasn’t ripe then.
Taunted for his loss in the previous meeting in the pre-match face-to-face, Manduwar argue his defeat occurred during his formative years as a rising wrestler, vowing to serve a different flavour to Leket this time.
How this cracker will pan out will make for an interesting reading next Monday.