Okaka, Mogunde make Kenya proud with wins

Friza 'Baby Girl' Anyango in a training session at Mathare Police Depot, Nairobi. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

For the first time in so many boxing outings, Kenya won her first two matches on Monday, in the Africa Championships in Yaounde, Cameroon.

The wins came through Africa Zone Three Three light middleweight silver medallist Boniface Mogunde and upcoming heavyweight sensation Robert Okaka.

Okaka took one minute and 21 seconds to overwhelm Ugandan Idirisa Mukibi, which left South African referee Gideon Vumazonke Mazizandile with no option but stop the contest (RSC) in the first round.

The victory must have given Okaka confidence required in such events taking into account this is his second international championships after competing in the world championships in Tashkent in May.

Mogunde, who boxes for league champions Kenya Police, followed it with another 4-1 split-point victory against Nduwarugira Nestor of Burundi.

The two victories have given the Kenyan pugilists invaluable morale especially for those boxers who are yet to take on the ring.

Head coach Musa Benjamin was equally an elated man due to that impressive performance.

“This is good for the team and the rest of the boxers who are yet to take the ring. It gives them morale to follow suit,” Benjamin told Standard Sports.

Kenya sent a full squad of ten male and five female boxers for the showpiece, which for the first, will see boxers who reach quarterfinals, being rewarded with cash prizes.

Female welterweight boxer Friza Anyango is one of the female boxers who was elated by those two victories.

Anyango, who takes on Bel Ahbib Oumayma of Morocco in the pre-quarters, said she aims on reaching the finals.

“My preparations have been good as my urge is to reach the finals,” she told Standard Sports.

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