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Joseph Bessala

Joseph Bessala

The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Boxer
Countries Cameroon
Occupations Boxer
Gender male
Birth 1 January 1941 (Douala, Wouri, Littoral, Cameroon)
Death 25 April 2010 (Yaoundé, Centre, Cameroon)
The details

Joseph Bessala (January 1, 1941 – April 25, 2010) was a welterweight boxer from Cameroon.


In 1965, Bessala won the All-Africa Games in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo. He twice won the African Championships in welterweight: in 1966 in Lagos, Nigeria, (prevailing over Ghanaian, Eddie Blay in the final) and 1968 in Lusaka, Zambia, where he prevailed in the final fight over the Zambian, Julius Luipa, whom he beat again at the Olympic Games. He won the silver medal at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. In the final, he was lost to East Germany's Manfred Wolke.

Amateur highlights

  • 1965 won the All-Africa Games in Brazzaville, Congo. Beat in the final Isaac Dabore (Nigeria) by TKO-2.
  • 1966 won the African Championships in Lagos, Nigeria. Beat Eddie Blay (Ghana) in the final.
  • 1968 won the African Championships in Lusaka, Zambia. Beat Julius Luipa (Zambia) in the final.

Olympic results

  • 1968 won the silver medal as a Welterweight at the Olympics in Mexico City. Results were:
    • Defeated Luis Gonzales (Chile)
    • Defeated Julius Luipa (Zambia) KO-2
    • Defeated Victor Zilberman (Romania) TKO-3
    • Defeated Mario Guilloti (Argentina) PTS (5-0)
    • Lost to Manfred Wolke (East Germany) PTS (1-4)


In October, Bessala started his professional career with a victory in the first round, where he defeated the Belgium's Jean-Pierre Heirmann with a technical knockout. Six victories, one draw, and yet another five victories followed. In November 1974, the last victory over Eddie Blay from Ghana, who had won the bronze medal in the class of super lightweight in 1964, gained Bessala the African title in the welterweight class. The title was taken from him by Salem Ouedraogo from the Côte d'Ivoire in January 1976. After a longer break, Bessala gained back the African title from his fellow countryman, Bechir Boundka in June, 1978. He aimed to defend this title again in his 16th fight, but Mimoun Mohatar from Morocco knocked him out in the 12th round in December, 1978. Bessala took the consequences and retired from boxing.

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