Bombardier vs Eumeu –A Must-Watch Wrestling Bout on the Lips of the Globe
Mbour and Pikine -the regions the wrestler emanate from –are all gingered up ahead of the much-talked about showdown.
A crown lies at stake –one that millions will be observing whether champion Bombardier can defend up against Eumeu Sene.
It’s hours until the epic title decider bout this Saturday and Stade Amiche, the venue to host the enormous event.
Mbour and Pikine -the regions the wrestler emanate from –are all gingered up ahead of the much-talked about showdown that’s not only the subject of debate among Senegalese but beyond Africa.
The streets, like at the approach of every major combat, is lined with ribbons and huge placards bearing portraits of the fighters. Business people talk of shirt sales of the wrestlers being the fastest selling products in the market.
The clash is no typical rematch whose outcome is sometimes guessable. It’s a meeting of two heavyweights of the division who, for ages, have been anticipated to face off.
Bombardier and Eumeu Sene have so much in common not in style but in the adversaries they’ve fought in recent years.
Based in Pikine, a region situated in east of the capital Dakar, Eumeu also dubbed Tay Singer, share opponents with his latest rival.
Bombardier snatched the crown off Balla Gaye’s grips before humbling Modou Lo in 2014, one of the arena’s most stylish combatants. Sene lost to the latter in fierce scenes but recuperated to put his career on an upward trajectory against Balla Gaye.
They were initially slated to cross daggers last year around July but unforeseen circumstances prompted its cancellation.
The Stade Demba Diop stampede that left at least eight people dead caused the fight postponement. Pavilions of the stadium collapsed after a fight broke out between rival fans during a local Cup final. The incident threw the West African nation into mourning following declaration by head of state Macky Sall for a night vigil for the deceased. The unfortunate incident occurred barely twenty-four hours to the wrestling battle between Modou Lo and Lac de Guier II which was to be followed by the Eumeu-Bombarider meeting weeks later.
The Stade Diop–the sole recognised makeshift wrestling arena with a huge capacity –was declared unfit to host matches as venue crisis rocked the traditional sport.
Months of inaction followed as wrestling promoters risked incurring huge losses on staging fights in the remaining smaller pitches as uncertainty lingered amid genuine worry over the multi-million sport’s likely decline.
By this time, the Eumeu-Bombarider duel has been rescheduled thrice with the former complaining he’d spent millions in preparations –more than the prize money given to him by promoter Pap Galish.
Numerous behind closed doors meetings were held between Galish and representatives of the two wrestlers over finding an amicable solution to the worrying situation.
By December, the deal was on the brink of being nullified with Tay Singer and B-52 –Bombarider’s arena name – threatening to opt out of the contract, saying they’ve grown tired of the ‘unending postponements.’
On December 25th, the exasperated stars felt they’ve had enough and both walked out of the contract without compensation to the event’s organiser.
B-52 went ahead to accept an offer to face compatriot Rocky BalBaol in a Mixed Martial Arts (MMMA) clash in Switzerland.
Resurrection of the deal
Just when all hopes had been lost, the unexpected happened –the deal revived on track and the wrestlers back at each other’s neck. The euphoria became unmistakable.
Making up for the delay, defending arena king Bombardier flew to Luzern to take on Balbao whom he bamboozled in the cage in one minute. That fight served to let out a warning to Eumeu of what awaits him when they final meet this Saturday. Sene responded with a ridicule, equating Bombarider’s MMA belt to a used material product, a thing B-52 took umbrage over, calling Sene “jealous” and a “hater.”
In a recent televised face-to-face, Seign Ousman Dia –Bombardier’s real nomenclature – said he’s under no pressure ahead of the fight and claimed to have no time for verbal exchanges preferring to “walk the talk instead.”
“At the approach of my combats, I don’t indulge in too much talking. I have been here before so no fight is too big for me to handle,” he said.
Born into a family of wrestlers and a two-time former African champion, Eumeu –christened Mamadou Ngom – boast of nine victories, seven defeats and two draws.
Of the wrestlers he’d fought in a career spanning in 1998, are namely Ouza Sow, Bassirou Gaye, Ngeuye Loum, Mbaye Diouf Soulaye Do, Zale Lo, Gris Bordeaux, Lac de GuierII (rematch) and Balla Gaye (twice).
Pikine, his region, have it all, from empathizing with him in times of match losses, draws to moments of victories with the exception of a title.
More than a title at stake
Bombardier first became king of arena 15 years ago when he left the full to the brim Leopold Sedar Senghore Stadium fans gobsmacked, bundling then title defender Mohamed Ndao Tyson –the man strongly credited for the transformation of the traditional art to a multi-million sport.
Ngom was an understudy to Tyson at Ecurie (Club) Bul Faleeh at time of that duel.
Both Eumeu and Tyson are now based in Pikine and the former now has the tough task of avenging that defeat, making the 39-year-old’s weekend all an action-packed journey against B-52.
Millions will be watching the fight in Senegal and beyond with head of state Macky Sall named after the combat belt.
A whopping 50 million CFA is also on stake.