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SPORTS

‘MAGUFULI SILENCED’ as Kenyans Ochieng and Okwiri beat Tanzanians

BOXING By ERICK OCHIENG' | February 6th 2017
Super Flyweight Title contenders Nick Otieno is carried shoulder high after dwafeating (left) of Kenya and Haji Juma of Tanzania fight it out at Crownie plaza during exclusive Fox Sports Africa Boxing event on Feb 5, 2017. [PHOTO: JONAH ONYANGO/STANDARD]

Nick ‘Kanyankole’ Otieno delivered for the country a glittering World Boxing Association (WBA) Pan African Super Flyweight belt at the Africa Championship Boxing contest staged in Nairobi on Saturday night.

Otieno won on unanimous points decision after he was awarded 118-113,124-113,120-108 by the three judges against his well-built Tanzanian opponent Haji Juma.

Otieno oozed his old class as he dominated the 12-round fight right from round one. He took the battle to the calculative Juma, who spent most of his time in the ring dodging punches more than he threw.

Juma’s slyness finally caught up with him in round four when he was cornered and Otieno turned him into a punching bag.

“Ua! Ua! Chapa Magufuli ilale,” Otieno’s supporters bellowed with every blow he landed on the Tanzanian.

Things went out of frying pan into fire for Juma, who finally kissed the canvas in round 11, but soldiered on to complete the fight anyway.

“I am happy to add another belt in my cabinet. I had trained well for this bout and went into the fight with lots of confidence,” said Otieno.

At the same time, Otieno thanked fight sponsors Fox Sports for the high profile bouts and challenged corporates to support the game in Kenya.

“For example, I have stayed one year without a fight because there are no sponsors to support my professional boxing. Sometimes it is disheartening to keep on keeping fit without knowing when your next fight is,”Otieno said.

Otieno is the only Kenyan boxer to have gone 14 matches unbeaten including three international titles (Universal Boxing Organisation (2006), which he successfully defended a year later and the International Boxing Federation (2007) upon his professional debut in 2005.

The scintillating bout of the night was the one pitting former Aiba ProBoxer, Olympian and Prison boxer Rayton Okwiri, who was making his professional debut, against Salehe Mkalekwa of Tanzania.

Okwiri was in a class of his own as he knocked out the experienced Tanzanian in the third round of the six round super welter weight contest.

Mkalekwa’s nerves failed him in the opening round as he resorted to holding and tagging Okwiri for relief.

But as the gods of boxing would have it, his craftiness failed him terribly and he was felled in the third round by Okwiri’s right hand punch.

His continuation for the second round had no impact as Okwiri felled him again with almost a similar pattern, but his spirit was strong and decided to carry on.

The third round that lasted for two minutes and 44 seconds was his ultimate night mare as he absorbed a flurry of punches before being finished off by a crisp upper cut as Okwiri won on technical knockout.

 

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