Dambe fight is a boxing sport peculiar to the Hausa of Northern Nigeria, but it has migrated to every part of Nigeria where they are domiciled. It is a traditional martial art that is centuries old just as we have Kung Fu in China and Taekwondo among the Koreans. Dambe fight is an arena fight in which fans form a circle around the boxers or sometimes on one side, and cheer on as the boxers charge at each other. Dambe fight is not an elaborate boxing in a ring such as would be set up for a Mayweather or Anthony Joshua fight, however, there are laid down rules for this traditional boxing sport, which the fighters are compelled to observe.
Local praise-singers always accompany each side to a Dambe boxing. They are drummers who eulogise the strength of their fighter and list their accolades. Fighters are usually between the age of 10 to 30 years old, armed with amulets and charms sometimes, the fighters demonstrate the same skills of boxing that we see in Western boxing sport. However, one of the few rules of Dambe is the respect to pause fight if the opponent’s glove (wrapped thread) falls off. Secondly, fighters are expected to fight with only one hand. Dambe also has a referee who regulates the excesses of the fighters.
Watch a Dambe fight here.