Okoth boxes his way to Club Games: Association official says they are keen on young boxers

By Ben Ahenda: Sunday, January 7th 2018 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Boxing
Nick Okoth (R) of Kenya defence forces trade punches with Kennedy Onyango of Ken Track in their 60kg lightweight bout at Kaloleni Social hall in Nairobi on July 02, 2015 during the All Africa Games team trials. Kennedy Onyango won on points.Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.pic-centre.com. (KENYA)

Kenya Defence Forces boxer beats Mwanzia of Githurai 44 Soweto. 

Africa lightweight champion Nick Okoth of Kenya Defence Forces is headed to the Commonwealth Games for the third consecutive time after he defeated John Mwanzia of Githurai 44 Soweto in the Commonwealth Games selection bout at Kaloleni Social Hall on Friday night.

The continental champion who won a gold at the Africa Boxing Championships in Congo Brazzaville to earn him a ticket the World Boxing Championships in Hamburg, Germany last year, was no match for his opponent when the referee stopped the contest in the second round to save Mwanzia from further punishment.

Okoth was set to square it out with Ethan Maina of Kenya Police in the finals last evening after the policeman had earlier dismissed Anthony Ngugi of Kenya Prisons.

Boxing Association of Kenya Vice President Albert Matito said they are more focused on picking a young, but talented side that could win medals at the big games, which will act as a yardstick to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

“We are serious in picking a formidable young side that can deliver medals at the games than depend on experienced players who have outlived their usefulness,” said Matito.

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Matito said that the federation has set its eyes on the Tokyo Olympics and hence the need to have young boxers who can win medals in Gold Coast, Australia.

“That does not mean experienced boxers will be left out of the Commonwealth Games, but they must prove themselves in order to don the national team colours,” he said.

The 2010 Commonwealth Games bantamweight silver medalist Benson Njangiru Gicharu was set to take on Isaac Meja of KDF in a mouthwatering final match in the bantamweight category after both boxers dispatched their opponents in a two-match-face-off-two-day competition.

Meja who was a thorn in Gicharu’s flesh last season in league assignments rolled to the finals without throwing a jab after policeman Martin Oduor failed to climb up the ring while Gicharu had dismissed Hamza Saidi of Coast Combined.

In the light flyweight, Matayo Keya of Kenyatta National Hospital saw-off Nichodemus Kinuthia of Githurai 44 Soweto.

In the super heavyweight, David Njuguna of Police beat George Owiti of Prisons 2-1 and was set to take on Fred Ramogi of KDF.

Ramogi defeated Njuguna in all league matches last season.