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Pressure Weighed on Me –Says Balla Gaye After First Victory in Five Years

Senegalese former King of Arena Omar Sakho dubbed Balla Gaye II this week concedes he fought under pressure in his win over Gris Bordeaux.

Balla and Gris exhausted the allocated 30 minutes over the weekend in a wrestling duel watched by millions in Africa and beyond.

It was the Lion of Guediawaye’s first victory in five years after his last in 2013 against Tapha Tine of Baol Mbolloh.

Balla was also marking his return to the arena having taken a two-year sabbatical from it, a decision fuelled by consecutive two defeats he endured against current crown holder Bombardier and Eumeu Sene in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

In the run-up to Saturday’s fight, Guediawaye-his birth place –morale sapped after seeing two of their key wrestlers (Sa Thies Balla’s sibling and Lac de Guier II) lose their fights.


Photo: Balla thrills his supporters with his dance rituals: picture source Dakaractu

Matters were compounded when another of Gaye’s bosoms Elton got thrashed in an undercard duel, making it all the more necessary for him to avoid adding to those strings of losses.

And reacting following his triumph over Gris on refereeing decision, the 31-year-old said pressure contributed to his 30-minute stretch in the combat.

‘Lac, Sa Thies and Elton all lost. I cannot be seen to be adding to that. I couldn’t imagine myself losing that fight, it was pressure on me for me to deliver. So I needed to be cautious and is perhaps the reason for the fight going to those lengths,’ he said on Monday night.

Being his longest fight in his wrestling career, Balla won on 3-2 warnings. Prior to that he chased his opponent twice out of the sacks in a fight peppered with blows.

The erstwhile crown bearer sported blond dreads and even changed his fighting style in desperate efforts to return to winning ways.

A new opponent is yet to be proposed to him.


Featured Photo: Balla administering a blow across his adversary’s face


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