End of the road for African boxers at World Championships in New Delhi

Africa Zone Three Boxing Championships light heavyweight gold medalist Elizabeth Andiego (in red) lands a jab on Elif Guneri of Turkey at the World Women Boxing Championships in Istanbul, Turkey last month.[Courtesy]

It was a sad day on Wednesday for African boxers who stormed the quarterfinals of the World Women Boxing Championships as all of them save for one failed to book a place in the last four in New Delhi, India.

Africa Boxing Championships light heavyweight silver medallist and Kenyan captain Elizabeth Andiego was among the continental heavyweights who were knocked out of the global event.

Andiego was stopped by Fariza Shotley of Kazakhstan who is the Asian light heavyweight champion on unanimous points decision.

With the exit of Andiego, the full squad of 11 Kenyan boxers who featured in the tournament are expected to return home empty handed after all of them failed to go past the quarterfinals.

Andiego was the only pugilist who reached the last eight after getting a bye in the pre-quarterfinals match in what boxing experts termed as ill preparations.

Former national head coach and the 1987 All Africa Games lightweight gold medallist Patrick ‘Mont’ Waweru said Kenya needs to play North African countries in friendly matches ahead crucial global championships.

“Playing against North African countries is better than the East Africans. They can make us improve on our standards when we are faced with crucial events. The national boxing federation should also act on technicalities that make us fail,” Waweru told Standard Sports.

Former Commonwealth Games flyweight bronze medallist Christine Ongare who was among Kenya’s medal hopefuls was beaten in pre-quarterfinal match by Erivan Barut of Turkey on points, a verdict that was bitterly contested by Ongare and the technical bench led by head coach Musa Benjamin.

“It is the referee (Japanese Riichi Igarashi) who messed me up with unnecessary stoppage that caused me the bout,” a bitter Ongare told Standard Sports.

Other African boxers who fell in the quarterfinals on Wednesday were Africa middleweight champion Alcinda Dos Santos of Mozambique and Algeria’s Ichrak Chaib.

Alcinda got a rude shock against Australia’s Kaye Scott in the light middleweight bout on split points’ decision while Russia’s Anastasila Demurchian beat Chaib on points.

Only Morocco’s Yasminne Mouttaki who outpointed Bulgaria’s  Yuliyanova Asenova in the minimuweight fight survived the onslaught.

Wednesday's quarterfinals results

Light heavyweight (81kg) – Kenya’s Elizabeth Andiego lost on points to Fariza Shotley of Kazakhstan.

Light middleweight (71kg) - Alcinda Dos Santos of Mozambique lost on points against Australia’s Kaye Scott.

Minimuweight (48kg) - Morocco’s Yasminne Mouttaki beat Yuliyanova Asenova of Bulgaria on points.

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