James ‘Onyi’ Onyango on Saturday night earned himself a split draw against Jason 'El Nino' Pagara' in Cebu city, Philippines on 16th September during the boxing welterweight fight.
Onyango fighting away from home was energetic during the tricky title fight, 10-round welterweight bout which took place at the Waterfront Hotel & Casino.
“I expected a win, but the judges thought it was a split draw. At one point I thought I got three consecutive rounds right winning on points. But it’s okay, let us see what the future holds, I thank God for everything,” Onyi took to his social media account after the fight.
The man from Kairobangi in Nairobi came alive during the fourth round with straight punches which exposed Pagara's poor defensive tactics. The eighth round would have seen Onyi win early as he tried in several occasions to floor his Filipino opponent when his heavy punches opened a cut on the left eye brow of Pagara.
“That was my moment, but he proved good with his footwork’s and stability on the floor. I tried to catch him unaware but his focus was sharp too. Pagara has an amazing endurance,” retorted the man who trains at Kariobangi social hall in Nairobi County and added that he has no time for rest, but he will be back to the gym very soon for his workouts.
Pagara also was not to be under estimated as he punished the visiting Onyi during the first three rounds. He sent the Kariobangi trained champ to the canvas twice, once in the second round and then again in the fifth round.
In the 2nd half of the fight Onyi took charge as the home boy Pagara’s punches became feeble, but with stability on his feet, Pagara fought for survival and managed to earn a split draw during the 10-round welterweight bout.
Kenya’s pride Onyango, 34, now has a record 23-11-2 with 19 KOs.The highly Asian rated Pagara, 29, from Cagayan de Oro City is ranked by the WBO in the junior welterweight division. He now has a record of 40 wins, 2 losses and 1 draw.
The judges at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino had Edward Ligas 114-114 draw, Edgar Olalo – 114-113 for Oyango and Arnie Nareja 115-113 for Pagara.