By Yankuba Jallow
First scooping it in Sierra Leone then defending it for the first time in Mali, the treasured belt was at stake last weekend this time at his home with Gambia staging the Alpha Male African championship.
Pressure not to falter before the home crowd certainly weighed on but Badjie isn’t the one to buckle under it.
Instead, he toiled hours on end, training twice a day and resting once a week, knowing he needed to live up to the billing, considering the home crowd have never seen him perform in their very before.
Saliou Nidaye of Senegal was his opponent whom the Gambian claim did most of the blabbing while his boxing did the talking.
Foday ended up stopping his adversary in the fourth round.
‘I prepared for Saliou very well. He (Saliou) was talking on Facebook and on our WhatsApp that I will suffer in his hands,’ he says.
‘After hearing this, I was not moved with his sentiments because I know I am better than him. I allowed him to make the talking whilst I continue with my training.
‘I used to train twice a day for him. I only rest one day in the week. He was just talking and making noise in our forums whilst I was busy preparing for the match. I was not moved with his comments. Saliou is a good boxer and I wish him all the best in his next fight.
The weekend combat was a derby as Senegal and Gambia’s very best squared under the 75kg category. Fo sustained a wound in the face – result of a well-aimed punch from his adversary.
The abrasion somewhat appeared to have riled the Gambian at the same time spurred him into action.
‘I knew before the match that if I persist in pressuring him, he wouldn’t endure the punches. This was what I did. When we started, he used his head and knocked on my face. I saw blood coming out around my eyelashes. From this point, I decided to put pressure on him and dominated the fight. I was more prepared than him and this was the reason for my victory.
‘I will continue with my training and focus on my next combat. I am now holding the belt and I will always fight to ensure it remains mine. I don’t know who will be on my way. Nothing in this life will come easy but by the grace of God, I will win,’ he puffs.
A continental wave-maker, the ring kingpin knows all eyes are on his prized possession and is aware retaining it takes more than blood and sweat.
‘I feel very happy about raising the flag of my country into the international boxing arena. Having the belt does not make or mean I am the best in the country. I love the sport and I do all it requires. I don’t sit and relax; I always training,’ he elucidates.