Saturday night at Stade de l’Est in Saint-Denis on the island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean, veteran Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam 35-2, 21 KO), from Pantin, Seine-Saint-Denis, France, by way of Cameroon, dethroned interim WBA World middleweight champion Alfonso Blanco (12-1, 5 KOs), from Oxnard, California, by way of Caracas, Venezuela, at 22 seconds of the first round of a scheduled 12.
Fighting out of the blue corner in purple and gold trunks, N’Dam went right to work at the opening bell and barely had time to work up a sweat.
Blanco, fighting out of the red corner in blue and green trunks, didn’t know what hit him.
The reigning a defending champion threw a jab to the challenger’s body that fell short of the mark. N’Dam countered with a jab, followed by a right hook that Blanco didn’t see coming and he fell face-first to the canvas.
The referee, Gustavo Padilla, didn’t bother with a count, as Blanco was not only down, he was out.
“I was just getting started,” said N’Dam after the fight, “but I saw he was carrying his left arm low, which comes from amateurs. I knew that I had to throw the right hook.”
N’Dam is a tough competitor. But having lost two of his last nine fights by unanimous decision, to Peter Quillin for the WBO title in 2012, where he was dropped six times, and to David Lemieux in 2015 for the IBF title, where he was dropped four times, there was some question as to what exactly he had left.
N’Dam answered that question, emphatically, and the answer to what he has left is plenty.
“I was really ready, I was focused. It is the new Hassan. It is the rebirth,” he said.
“We will continue to work hard. We will remain humble. It is only a step. The knockout was unexpected, but I knew I had made a big preparation for this fight.”
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.