Boxing: Gicharu and Abaka cruise to boxing finals

Gicharu and Abaka cruise to boxing finals

Kenya's Benson Gicharu Njangiru (L) fights Guyana's Imran Khan (R) in their men's boxing Bantam (56kg), round of 32 bout at the SECC Precinct during the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland on July 25, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC

Light heavy weight boxer Nick Abaka of Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) and bantamweight Benson Gicharu of Kenya Police made a formidable comeback to the local scene from Amateur Professional Boxing Championships with sweet victories at the third leg of the National Boxing League at Ananas Supermarket Mall in Thika on Friday.

Both boxers secured an identical 3-0 wins against their opponents to qualify for the finals of the tournament.

Although Abaka lost in the first two legs of the league while Gicharu won on his first attempt by hitting Simon Kinuthia of Oscar Kassongo Sports Academy, the KDF diminutive player this time managed to cruise to the finals after he outwitted Joseph Odhiambo of Nairobi Metropolitan.

Staying calm 

The duo was among the three Kenyan APB boxers who decided not to join the paid ranks after welterweight Rayton Okwiri of Kenya Prisons turned full professional after world governing boxing body abolished the APB Championships as sponsors pulled out of the tournament.

Gicharu was set to take on Brian Agina of Coast in the finals yesterday. Agina had beaten experienced Isaac Meja of KDF 3-0 in a one-sided semifinal clash.

In his first two attempts, Abaka was stopped by policeman Elly Ajowi after he (Abaka) moved to light heavy (81kg) from middleweight (74kg) while Ajowi dropped to light heavy (81kg) from heavyweight (91kg).

Abaka was scheduled to face off with Ajowi in the finals for the third time after the policeman knocked out Kevin Ogutu of Thika in another light heavyweight semifinal match.

Police deputy coach John Waweru exuded confidence of winning the Thika Championships. [Ben Ahenda]

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