Former Africa Boxing lightweight champion Nick Okoth became the first Kenyan boxer to bow out of the 2022 Commonwealth Games after exiting in round of 32 on Saturday night.
Okoth, who is Kenya’s most decorated boxer, lost to Keevin Allicock of Guyana in the lightweight (60kg) category in Birmingham, England.
The 2015 Africa Boxing Championships lightweight gold medallist lost on a unanimous 5-0 points decision after the judges sided with the Guyanan who dominated in all the three rounds of the bout.
Kenyans who banked on Okoth to bring glory home will now have to hope other Kenyans will give them a reason to smile when they take onto the ring from tomorrow.
Okoth had earlier said he was aiming at qualifying for the medal bracket before hanging up his gloves in a grand-style at the end of the Club Games.
“It is my desire to reach the medal bracket before I hang my gloves with my head held high and it’ll be a great pleasure for me and my family if that comes to pass,” Okoth said before leaving for Birmingham.
Kenya now has three boxers left in the championships.
Commonwealth Games flyweight bronze medallist Christine Ongare, Africa Zone Three Boxing Championships gold medallists Elizabeth Andiego (light heavyweight) and bantamweight Shaffi Bakari will compete from tomorrow.
Both Ongare and Andiego qualified for the quarterfinals without throwing a jab while Bakari will start his quest for the top honours in the Round of 32.
Bakari will face Rukmal Prasanna of Sri Lanka.
Ongare, who has since shifted to the minimum weight (48kg) from flyweight (49kg) takes on Priyanka Dhillon of Canada on Wednesday.
Andiego, who returned to her traditional middleweight (74kg) from light heavyweight (81kg), will face Australia’s Anne Parker also on Wednesday. [Ben Ahenda]