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Wandera, Maina storm into semi-finals in Nakuru

Boxing
 Washington Wandera of KDF ( right) in action against John Kanyike of Kisumu during the third leg of the National Boxing League at Madison Square Garden, Nakuru on November 26,2023. [Ben Ahenda, Standard]

Lightweight Washington Wandera of Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) secured a split points decision in the quarter-final clash against John Kanyike of Kisumu in the first bout of the third leg of the National Boxing League at Madison Square Garden in Nakuru County on Thursday.

And as Wandera celebrated, the win opened doors for the former champions KDF to close the gap between them and the league champions Kenya Police in the rush for the title.

"We are here for serious business and the win is a morale booster for our desire to win the league title this time round," Wandera told Standard Sports.

Kenyan international Ethan Maina, who features for Police, also picked his win in a unanimous points decision against Samuel Njomo of Vihiga in another lightweight clash to cruise to the last four.

"These matches are good for us but I'm not underrating any of my opponent here as they are equally ready for the same matches," said Maina.

Maina is one of the boxers who hopes to be selected into one of the squads that will take part in the World Olympic Qualifiers in Italy and Thailand next year.

Other matches of the same weight saw Francis Riziki of Kenya Prisons clinched his ticket to the semi-finals with a 3-0 win over Hamza Saidi Mbaraki minutes before Benson Kamau of Kibra defeated Wisdom Muinde of Nairobi in the last match of that weight. The semi-finals will be staged on Friday.

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