CHRIS KONGO ended 16 months of misery with a brutal KO win over Luther Clay in another Saturday night cracker.
The Dillian Whyte-managed welterweight was in his first fight since April 2019 following injuries and bad luck and what a fight it was – with Clay more than playing his part in the barnstormer.
The winner roared: “”I knew I had the speed, I knew I had the power. I just had to pace myself.
“When it got into the middle rounds, I hurt him and I knew I’d get him out of there.
“Look what I done there when I was out 16 months.
“I believe I can be one of the best contenders in the world in the welterweight division.”
Towering Kongo had four inches on the bullish Bracknell slugger but he was chased around the ring for nine thrilling rounds before ending the clash in assassin-like style.
Little South Africa-born Clay targeted Kongo’s long ripped body from the off, trying to chop down his height advantage.
But when the 27-year-old tried similar tactics Clay smiled and shook his head to say he could not be hurt to the trunk.
Kongo started making his size advantage count in the second and his corner yelled praise when he used clever feints to lure the 24-year-old into out-of-range attacks.
Kongo started the third well, scoring with flush body shots that would surely slow his smaller opponent down as the rounds ticked by.,
But Clay clipped him with a right hand to the temple that would keep Kongo honest for a few more sessions at least.
Uni-grad Clay remained on the front foot throughout the fourth, always marching forward but he walked into a punishing Kongo left hook that seemed to stun him.
A chunk of the fifth was hard to watch as Kongo had his prey pinned to the ropes and unloaded what seemed like a dozen spiteful punches into him.
Clay showed marvellous courage by clinging on and staying vertical but Team Kongo were confident the end was coming.
Kongo’s engine seemed to wilt in the second half and too often he was caught using his gangly arms to hold and grab and spoil a great contest.
Clay’s grit was staggering, he refused to give the bigger man a second of rest but Kongo’s left hook was a mean deterrent.
Round eight kept the contest on a knife edge but Kongo was ruthless in the nine and finished it in brutal style.
A couple of hooks to the body opened up Clay for an uppercut, seconds later another lead left hook landed and then another uppercut snapped Clay’s head back.
Kongo finally decked his victim with another combination and the towel rightly came in from Clay’s concerned corner.