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Murang’a boxer Mathu shock Police’s Maina in thrilling Light Fly contest

Last updated 1 year ago | By Robin Toskin

Odhiambo Awali (right) from Siaya lands a left jab on Moses Arodi from Vihiga during the 2019 Kenya Open Championships at Charter Hall, Nairobi. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Charter Hall, Nairobi, came alive with 17-year-old Murang’a boxer David Mathu tearing the form book to beat Ethan Maina of Police as the ‘National Open Boxing Championship’ entered the second day yesterday.

The explosive and entertaining action at Charter Hall was from the leadership wrangles engulfing Boxing Association of Kenya (BAK) that has led to yet another ‘National Open Boxing Championship’ going on in Mombasa.

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After several rounds of closely contested bouts, the fans inside the packed Charter Hall were brought on their feet as Mathu and Maina slugged it out in a thrilling Light Fly 60kg contest.

Fleet-footed Mathu from Murang’a County took the sting out of Maina with a series of jabs in the first round for, which the Police boxer would not bridge at the fall of the third round bell.

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“The plan was to use my speed and precision to throw jabs at him. It was effective especially after I realized he packed a lot of power. I ensured I got ahead of him with speed,” Mathu said.

The youngster was carried shoulder high by his fans and neutrals awed by his bravery.

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“It’s only a beginning because I’m only 17 years, but I harbour an Olympic dream,” Mathu, who trains with Dallas Boxing Club told Standard Sports.

Maina acknowledged Mathu’s performance saying he benefited from a quickfire start.

“I paid for starting slowly,” Maina said.

“By the time I grew into the game, he had outscored me,” the Police boxer said.

Githurai Thailand Boxing Club coach John Ochieng and Daniel Shisia paid tribute to Mathu

“The bout between Mathu and Ethan was a good advertisement of the abundant talent in our country,” Ochieng said.

“I hope sanity will prevail for the sake of boxing in Kenya. Mathu’s performance clearly shows a boxer on the path to greatness, but these wrangles can jeopardize his dream,” he said.

Shisia said: “Mathu has a bright future. Though young, he is cut for boxing. He needs to work on intensity and power and keep the focus.”

The tournament continues today at Charter Hall.

Selected results

Light fly 49Kg

Alex Ndungu (Murang’a) beat Francis Gitonga (Laikipia)

Charles Macharia (Murang’a) bt Davis Otieno (Vihiga)

David Karanja (Nairobi) bt Shaffi  Bakari (Police)

Middleweight (75kg)

George Cosby (Police) beat Kennedy Mutwiri (Meru)

Light heavy (81Kg)

Joseph Onyango (Nairobi) bt Calvince Ochieng (Kilifi)

David Njuguna (Police) bt Jesekia Omollo (Kakamega)

Lightweight 60Kg)

Hamza Said (Mombasa) bt David Omollo (Kisumu)

Kennedy Ouma (Siaya) bt Joseph Otieno (Busia)

Benson Kamau (Nairobi) v Reagan Odindo (Meru)

David Mathu (Murang’a) bt Ethan Maina (Police)