Ama Balde Facing Papa Sow –A Meeting of Youthful Exuberance Versus Experience.
It’s all going down this weekend, to be precise this coming Saturday, after a near six-month wait as Ama Balde comes face-to-face with Papa Sow.
The Leopold Sedar Senghore, the makeshift venue for all major wrestling contests this season, will be the ground hosting the fight.
Papa Sow from Club Fass, the more experienced of the two, will be up against one of the fastest rising stars of the Senegalese arena in Ama Balde based in Pikine.
Classed as an El Classico, the combat has generated so much buzz in Senegal. Wrestlers in Senegal command a huge following and for all the emphasis on fair play and sportsmanship, it has already led to bitter rivalries between regions.
The Guediawaye –Parselles enmity is one case in point. This fight too is also on the cusp of creating another region –to-region rivalry this time between Parselles Ashelm –home to Papa Sow -and Pikine where Ama was raised.
Heated verbal exchanges between competing wrestlers is enough to trigger tension amongst opposition supporters. Trouble began simmering on the day the fight promoter revealed that a deal between the two had been brokered in principle.
Clashes nearly occurred in the north-east of Pikine in the aftermath of the wrestlers’ first mandatory televised face-to-face.
Le CNG, Senegal’s sobriquet for a wrestling federation, issued a statement sometime last year urging for calm. Papa and Ama also followed that up with calls for peace and a united Senegal ahead of the fight.
Papa Sow boasts of more fights than any wrestler in Senegal, getting involved in over twenty bouts. In those clashes, he’d managed seventeen wins one draw and several defeats.
His adversary on the other hand, has twelve wins under his belt, beating Gouye Gui and heavyweight Tapha Tine of club Boal as he finished top in a 4-man wrestling tournament, two years ago.
Sow‘s previous contest ended in a defeat to Lac de Guier II in what was his first fight after a 12-month sabbatical from the arena.
During these torrid times of his career, the Club Fass man’s value receded. Any further defeat now will likely complicate matters for Papa Sow, making it a must-win affair for him tomorrow when he tussles Ama as he bids to win over fans and prove skeptics wrong.
Saturday’s epic meeting isn’t expected to be lacking in razzmatazz and style with both wrestlers being attackers.
Ama had trouble of running out of steam too quickly in fights at the start of his career but rectified that with victories over Malick Niang, Zoss, Tapha Tine and Gouye Gui without necessarily altering his highly praised rapidity.
Papa will be counting on his experience against a brilliant combatant who’s known to exhibit exuberance in his fights.
Ama has his sights set on joining the A-list wrestlers’ division and views the clash with Papa as his stepping stone. There’s already burning anticipation of him taking on top star Modou Lo in the future but must first ward off Sow who’s a bosom to Lo.
Thousands storm Ama’s Open Training Session, Ends in Chaos.
Open Press is a public session contracted wrestlers organise days before their combats. Such gatherings are staged for competing wrestlers to assure fans including the press of their preparedness ahead of the D-day.
Beginning with a light training session, Ama Balde’s Tuesday Open Press ended in chaos as thousands of supporters, in show of solidarity mainly from his home town, descended on the arena.
The crowd bypassed security lines storming the middle ground and mobbed the wrestler, bringing a premature end to the Open-Press.
Balde later apologised for the mishap but vowed to beat his adversary to a pulp in a three-minute interview he made from his late father’s residence, where he does his mystic work prior to combats.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“He will be horse-caned come the day including all those backing him,”[/perfectpullquote]
Ama said throwing a dig at his opposing number.
Meanwhile, Sow’s Wednesday Open-Press occurred unhindered with a decent turn out of fans. Responding to Ama’s comment, Papa hit back saying in local dialect Wollof: [perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“There are no horses in the arena, rather punches are traded and he will have enough of that.”[/perfectpullquote]
Millions from Senegal and beyond are expected to watch the fight which will be televised on Dstv and promises to make for an interesting viewing.