Boxing: Kenya's missed target in Germany bouts gives fans reason to worry

By Ben Ahenda: Wednesday, August 30th 2017 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Boxing
John Kyalo of police( in blue) trade a punch to Fredrick Odhiambo of Nakuru(in red) during the 3rd Inter-religion Boxing tournament at Nakuru Madison Square Garden on 30th -08-2014 Kenya Police won with highest points of 18 against Nakuru 10 PHOTO:BONIFACE THUKU

This was not the kind of results Kenyan boxers were expecting from their World Boxing Championships outing in Hamburg, Germany.

In truth, it is one of their worst shows since 1978 when Commonwealth Professional light flyweight Champion Steve Muchoki won gold in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.

Muchoki, who in 1974 won silver in the same competition in Havana, Cuba, is one of the living testaments that Boxing Association of Kenya (BAK) and the national team's technical bench should find lasting solutions on how to handle the team's preparations ahead of international championships.

At the moment, BAK should employ veteran coaches to handle the team. Despite fielding three boxers in the Germany bouts, they were all eliminated at the preliminary stages.

They are light flyweight Shaffi Bakari, lightweight Nick Okoth and middleweight John Kyalo. The trio was coached by David Munuhe, assisted by Mike Davis. Paul Mungori was the team manager.

Bakari lost to Ibrahim Omar Salah of Germany in a unanimous points decision, while Okoth suffered double cuts on his right eye before bowing out in the lightweight contest against De Oliveira Wanderson of Brazil.

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Kyalo lost to Benjamin Whittaker of England in the middleweight category. Munuhe was short of words on his team's poor performance.

His high expectations were on Okoth, who is also Africa's lightweight champion, after he won gold at the Africa Boxing Championships in Congo Brazzaville, which was acted as a qualifier for the global championships.

"He (Okoth) should have performed better than he did. We thought he would qualify for the medal bracket, but he was injured at the least expected time," Munuhe told Standard Sports.

However, Munuhe blamed the referee for Bakari's loss to Ibrahim Omar Salah of Germany.

"We were robbed this victory after Bakari outwitted Salah in all the three rounds. We were shocked when the German was declared the winner by the judges," said Munuhe.

BAK should also engage experienced coaches to accompany 'The Hit Squad' to international matches.

They should be tacticians who are able to help the boxers in time of need. The team will return on Monday. [Ben Ahenda]