Essomba had no doubts about taking title

Thomas Essomba celebrates his win
Thomas Essomba celebrates his win
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Thomas Essomba never had any doubt about becoming Commonwealth champion.

So much so that he says he was calming his coach and manager on the day of the fight rather than the other way around.

I want to say a big thank you to Jaffa and Sean.

Essomba put Waleed Din on the canvas four times on his way to an 11th-round stoppage as Sunderland beat Sheffield in the confrontation for the vacant flyweight crow in Rotherham.

In truth, the 27-year-old floored his rival many more occasions but referee Steve Gray counted ‘only’ four as knockdowns.

But any frustration over the handling of the bout ended one minute, 30 seconds into the penultimate round when the Lancashire official accepted the retirement of Din after the home corner threw in the towel.

It signalled celebrations from the boxer in the red and white colours synonymous with his adopted home city and for his fans in the crowd at the Magna Centre.

Aside from the seventh and eighth rounds when Din launched a fightback, this was as dominant a victory as you will see.

Essomba told the Echo that he felt victory was always his destiny and was thrilled to finish the job in the 11th after being urged on by coach, Sean Casey, who was assisted on the night by Hartlepool coach Neil Fannan.

“I have respect for Waleed, he is a clever guy, a good fighter, but I was always confident,” said the former two-time Olympian.

“Before the 11th round I saw he was tired and in the corner, Sean and Neil were telling me to put the pressure on.”

Essomba paid tribute to manager Jeffries and coach Casey, who have guided him to glory.

The boxer could speak no English and had no money when he came to Sunderland in 2012. All he had was his talent and belief that he would become a champion.

Jeffries has looked after him at both amateur and professional level, with Casey coaching Essomba in a six-fight career since turning pro.

“I want to say a big thank you to Jaffa and Sean,” said Essomba. “They have believed in me and I give everything I have in the fight and I dedicate what I do to them.”

But the boxer, the star of Casey’s BO Gym in Hendon, admitted he was the one having to relax his two guiding lights, rather than them chilling him out.

“I kept telling Jaffa and Sean to be calm and I promised them that I would do my job and win!” he laughed.