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Gambian Arena: Boy-Balla Humbled in Five-minute Bout


Photo: winner France

By Sulayman Bah
Last season’s Gambian wrestler of the year Boy-Balla was over the weekend brought flat back down to earth in an intriguing fixture
If ever a combat is to be fete the best from amongst the many staged so far, then it got to be Saturday’s.
Boy-Balla had been unbeaten in a stretch of four games, three of them against Senegalese wrestlers, in the run-up to the contest. Victory would have set up him with a likely battle with one of the pair of Hoyantan or Leket Bu Barra who are due to slug it out in a bout deciding the country’s arena king.
France was coming off a controversial defeat he’s yet to come to terms with against Hoyantan and risked seeing his stock take a massive decline if he accumulates any more losses, spicing up the cracker even more.
Boy-Balla seems to have shredded his weight a bit in a try at gaining quick mobility and rapidity if need be – a thing that apparently, many pundits believe, counted against him.
France, the once slimmed figure now a muscle mass –added few more pounds and visibly looked bigger.
In comparison, the Jabang-based star who commands a huge following and has been the man to beat until last Saturday, had vowed to come at his adversary at the whistle of the arbiter marking start of the duel.
Probably emboldened by his recent strides and brimming with confidence, Balla kept to his word, a thing that would later prove his undoing.
Prior to commencement of the grand combat, Boy held the crowd spell-bound throughout his 10-minute ecstatic electrifying dance routine peppered with new moves.
He went attacking at whistle of start by the arbiter.
France appeared to retreat to the corner. Then an exchange of punches followed which resulted to Boy Balla staggering momentarily backwards before the referee ordered the two to the arena centre as the crowd went into frenzy.
Boy Balla charged again at resumption of the match as France continued with his wait-and-see approach to the fight. Another grappling ensued. Boy Balla attempted to throw his opponent sideways but was beaten to that tactic by France in a lightening move as the pair went crashing into the sands with Balla first touching the ground amid jubilations.
Below is a collage of photos provided by Abdoulie Fatty
Photo 1: Boy-Balla poses before the fight 
Photo 2: winner France in his ritual dancePhoto 3: Boy-Balla entertains the crowdPhoto 4: Boy-Balla pauses intermittently before dancing to the drum beatingsPhoto 5: France of Banjul dancingPhoto 6: France posingPhoto 7 Boy-Balla undresses minutes before the fightPhoto 8: France os Banjul Saku Ham Ham paces up and down in the manner of a possessed wrestler just before the fightPhoto 9: Boy-Balla readying, as he puts the final touches in his holy-water dousingPhoto 10: France and Boy-Ball dousing in spiritual bottled waterPhoto 11: Boy continuing with his pre-match routinePhoto 12: France kneels to fasten a knotted jujuPhoto 13: Proceeding gets underway as the arbiter deducts the two wrestlers for their monies for time-wastingPhoto 14: the wait is over as the two swing-hands as the combat startsPhoto 15: Boy Balla closing down the gap as the two grapple 


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