Kenyans were shocked with an easy victory that showboating Tanzania boxer Karim ‘Mtu Kazi’ Mandonga picked against seasoned Kenyan pugilist Daniel Wanyonyi at the KICC Ball Room in Nairobi Sunday morning.
Those who had thronged the boxing hall watched in awe, with hands on their heads, as spirited Mandonga ‘rain soaked’ Wanyonyi with a flurry of punches as he commanded the 10-round Super middleweight non-title fight like a colossus.
Mandonga took the fight to hapless Wanyonyi, descending on the latter with his now famous Sugunyo jabs, he says, from Ukraine that left the Kenyan clutching on thin air.
Wanyonyi had nowhere to hide as Mandonga turned him into a punching bag in the opening five rounds.
A confident Mandoga controlled the tempo of the encounter as a confused Wanyonyi shifted from one corner of the ring to another for safety.
The motor-mouth Tanzanian was finally declared winner of the one-sided bout on Technical Knock Out in the fifth round after Wanyonyi's corner refused to answer the bell for the sixth.
The victory now takes Mandonga's tally to eight bouts with four wins (4KOs), 3 losses (all KOs) and a draw.
“Was that really the Wanyonyi I know?” John Otieno, a boda boda operator from Umoja Innercore who had followed the fight online wondered.
Some like James Okido from Kibera allege that local bookies could have influenced the outcome of the game to increase Mandonga’s popularity.
“He (Mandonga) is good for corporate marketing, publicity and branding hence the need to popularise him to increase his rating,” Okido claimed.
“I’m sure Mandonga will be swimming in purse money when he returns to Kenya for another sort of challenge,” he added.
Other Kenyans like Alamin Somo from Mombasa, who was irked by the outcome have now agreed to put their necks on the board on behalf of Wanyonyi saying Kenya deserved respect from Tanzania.
“Mandonga si mtu kazi, Mandonga ni mtu ganzi (Mandonga is not a piece of work, he is a fake boxer),” Somo ranted in a trending video that is breaking the internet.
“On behalf of all Kenyans, I’m challenging him for a fight. I’m inviting him to Mombasa to come and fight me. I pledge to teach him a lesson, I promise to floor him with my Tyson like jabs,” Somo said as he declared war on Mandonga.
At the same time, former Africa Boxing Union champion Rayton 'Boom Boom' Okwiri narrowly defeated his Tanzanian opponent Ally Ndaro on points in their 10 rounds middleweight bout at the same venue.
Despite Okwiri's victory, Ndaro who hails from Arusha gave a good account of himself in the ring. Both sides had a balance of power as they slugged it off in the fully packed hall.
The victory took Okwiri's record to 10 fights including eight wins (6KOs), a draw and a loss.
"We are glad about the return of boxing to Kenya, we are happy that Kenyans responded positively to these games after such a long time.
"Expect many explosive matches in the months to come as we are committed to supporting boxing and other sports in the country," Betnare representative Lydia Njeri, whose organisation supported the bouts, told Standard Sports.