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Kenyans mourn former Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Maina

Last updated 2 months ago | By Ochieng Oyugi

Kenya's flyweight boxing champion Douglas Maina in 1978. [File]

Kenya boxing family is mourning the death of former Commonwealth and Africa Games bantamweight bronze medalist Douglas Maina.

Douglas' death was confirmed yesterday by national 400m record-holder Rose Tata Muya.

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“Douglas has been unwell. We took him to Mathari Hospital last month for check-up. His wife called me today (Thursday) morning to relay the sad news,” Muya told Standard Sports.

Efforts to reach Maina’s wife for comment were futile as her phone didn’t go through.

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Maina was a product of the late coach Eddie ‘Papa’ Musi of Kariobangi, famously known as Bangladesh Boxing Club.

He contested national league for the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) where he was spotted and picked to join national team, the ‘Hit Squad’.

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Muya, who is also the Heroes and Heroines National Sports Coordinator, was with Maina in the Team Kenya for the 1978 All Africa Games in Algiers and the Commonwealth Games in Edmonton Canada.

Maina, who was known for his snapping deadly right punch, won bronze medals in the two championships.

“He was a gifted boxer. He did well in international tournaments as well as the league,” Kenya Professional Boxing Commission (KPBC) President Reuben Ndolo said.

After hanging his gloves, Maina trained as a referee and presided over international bouts in South Africa, Zambia, Malawi and across Africa.

Meanwhile, KPBC has postponed its Commonwealth and Africa title fights to August due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Among pugilists who are bracing for belts in their categories at the coming event are Sarah Achieng (lightweight, Commonwealth), Morris Okola (heavy, ABU) and Mwangi Makaveli (light, ABU).

Makaveli is currently stepping up training in Dubai alongside former World Boxing Council women Super Bantamweight champion Fatuma Zarika.

“Zarika will curtain-raise the contest ahead of her third fight title with Yemileth ‘Yeimi’ Mercado of Mexico later in the year,” said Ndolo.