The big news from Wembley Stadium last night may have been that Tyson Fury knocked out Dillian Whyte to retain his WBC heavyweight title, before pronouncing plans to retire from boxing, but there’s an up and coming star who headlined the undercard, who also retained his titles in dominant fashion, Ekow Essuman of Nottingham beating Yorkshireman Darren Tetley on points by a large winning margin.
As the crowd filled into the world-renowned theatre usually used famously for football, Ekow Essuman came out last, before the big all-British world title fight of the evening, and he took on a challenger in good shape, with good quality, and a good chin, as Darren Tetley looked to prize away the BBBofC British Welterweight title, as well as the Commonwealth & European belts from ‘the Engine’.
Essuman however always had the edge. His hand speed phenomenal, his workrate and fitness growing through the fight, whilst neither boxer looked like flooring their competitor, the hard work was done by Essuman who landed the larger quantity and better selections of shots, in the end he was just too quick and too busy for Tetley, who by no mean feat was out of his depth in fighting for such prestige in front of a packed house.
By the time Essuman was crowned winner, a resounding 117-111, 116-112, 116-112 unanimous decision, Wembley Stadium was packed to over 90,000 fans in anticipation for seeing Fury take on Whyte, ironically the crowd so large by then, possibly ensuring that Essuman, not Carl Froch, has now been seen box by more fans inside Wembley Stadium, despite the now retired former middleweight champion of the world’s list of other magnificent feats.
Time is to tell whether Essuman can ever reach the dizzy heights of what the likes of Froch achieved at world level, a boxer though now unbeaten in 17 fights with a perfect record, who has defended titles in his last five fights, is one slowly going under the radar as one of the most underrated talents based on these shores.
Fighting at Wembley, in front of a huge crowd on such prestigious event, will surely do only positive enlighten his name, whilst the big knockout blow was missing, that would come later from Fury, but Ekow has proved he can fight on the big stage, at big events, and against worthy competitors still showing he can outbox those much younger.
Now 33, Essuman will be hoping a World title fight is not too far away, Nottingham’s next latest big thing, is still on the journey upwards.
*Main image @StandardSport Ekow Essuman (left) against Darren Tetley.