Kenyan boxer Shaffie Bakari in a warm-up session ahead of the Commonwealth Games [File]

Africa Zone Three bantamweight gold medallist Hassan Shaffi Bakari and featherweight sensational Samuel Njau advanced to the next round of Africa Boxing Championships in Yaounde, Cameroon yesterday.

Bantamweight Amina Martha was the first female boxer to win her bout in the showpiece.

Martha defeated South Africa’s Sibisi Lethokuhle in the three rounds.

Their victories injected a sigh of relief to the ‘Hit Squad’ after an earlier loss by four boxer.

Kenya now has five boxers who are steadily getting closer to the medal bracket of the continental showpiece.

After an earlier postponement of their matches, Bakari finally took to the ring against Frontin Jewel of Mauritius whom he defeated 3-2 on a split points decision.

Before he took a flight to the West African capital, Bakari had said; “We are going to Cameroon for serious business and we are determined to come back with medals before we think of Africa Olympic qualifiers."

On his part, Njau quashed the chances of homeboy Tchouta Ignas Aristi of advancing to the last eight as he won on a unanimous points’ decision.

Bakari and Njau join Africa Zone Three light middleweight silver medallist Boniface Mogunde and heavyweight Robert Okaka, who won their matches on the opening day of the tournament and were programmed to take the ring for quarterfinal matches yesterday.

Mogunde was to face Clair Merven of Mauritius while Okaka took on Totap Foutou of Cameroon.

Earlier, four Kenyan boxers had bowed out of the week-long tournament.

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