Kenya Defence Forces light heavyweight (81kg) boxer Edwin Okong’o and national women lightweight champion Evelyn Akinyi bowed out of the 12th African Games in Rabat, Morocco, on Wednesday.
Boxing Federation of Kenya sent a squad of 12 boxers (eight men and four women) to the continental bonanza.
The two boxers lost on unanimous points decision (5-0) against their opponents in the first bouts at Amani Indoor Sports Centre in Rabat.
Okongo was beaten by Kaonga Mbachi of Zambia in a prequarterfinal match while Akinyi was lost to Moula Khouloud of Tunisia in the first preliminary round under Undugu head coach Musa Benjamin and his assistant David Munuhe. Isaac Mbote is the team manager.
Yesterday, five other Kenyan boxers were given byes in their preliminary bouts by Africa Boxing Federation and will proceed to the prequarterfinal matches without throwing a jab.
They are light flyweight Shaffi Bakari (52kg), lightweight Ethan Maina (63kg), welterweight Boniface Mugunde (69kg), middle weight Cosby George Ouma (75kg) and heavyweight Elly Ajowi (91kg). But they will have to wait the outcome of today's matches.
Of the five, policeman Ajowi is the only pugilist who earned an automatic ticket to quarterfinals and was among three boxers in the weight category to have been given byes by African Boxing Federation.
Others were Ueitele Oira of Namibia and Semed Gelson Rodnex of Cape Verde.
After earning a bye in the first round, flyweight Bakari (Shaffi) takes on Saidi Mortaji of Morocco this afternoon.
The 2015 African lightweight champion and Congo Brazzaville All African Games lightweight bronze medalist Nick Okoth who has since switched to featherweight (57kg) was set to face Armando Moliko of Equatorial Guinea last evening.
Cosby George Ouma was also set to battle John Koudeha of Togo in the middleweight last evening.
Boxing Federation of Kenya technical director Alberto Matito lauded Akinyi's performance in her international championship debut against an experienced Tunisian. He said Okoth and Cosby can win their matches.
“After losing the first two matches, Okoth and Cosby can win their matches. Akinyi staged a good shown in her debut at the big stage,” said Matito.
In super heavyweight where Kenya is represented by national champion Fredrick Ramogi, only 13 boxers in the games have been cleared by ABF to take part. Fixtures will be out tomorrow.
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