• The fight attracted even unconventional boxing fans despite it being a curtain raiser for the main bout between Kenya's Rayton Okwiri and Tanzania's Ally Ndaro.
• Kenyans trooped to the KICC in numbers to watch the fight after Mandonga promised to treat them to a fight of its kind by unleashing a new fighting technique dubbed ‘Sungunyo.’
Rap artiste Kennedy Ombima popularly known as King Kaka has challenged Kenyans to embrace the country’s sporting activities without being persuaded by foreigners to do so.
It follows the unprecedented interest Kenyans showed in Saturday’s boxing match between Tanzania’s Karim Mandonga “Mtu Kazi’and Kenyan pugilist Daniel Wanyonyi after Mandonga hyped the event.
The fight attracted even unconventional boxing fans despite it being a curtain raiser for the main bout between Kenya's Rayton Okwiri and Tanzania's Ally Ndaro.
Kenyans trooped to the KICC in numbers to watch the fight after Mandonga promised to treat them to a fight of its kind by unleashing a new fighting technique dubbed ‘Sungunyo.’
"Let them know that I will teach Wanyonyi a lesson, because I feel strong, fearing nothing. I have brought the punch I promised Kenyans, a hard one made in Ukraine, it is called 'Sugunyo',” Mandonga said.
But King Kaka said Kenyans do not need the likes of Mandonga to popularise sporting events for them to go and watch matches.
“Now wishing we would flock to stadiums, arenas and celebrate our sportsmen and women, we don’t have to wait for a TZ hype,” he said.
Kenyans who reacted to his statement credited Mandoga for the good attendance the event attracted and said having well-attended sporting events goes beyond patriotism and requires sufficient marketing and hype which they said is lacking in Kenya.
“Mandonga’s hype is the reason people went to watch the bout. His strategy worked, more importantly it attracted the non-conventional boxing fans,” BBC sports journalist Michelle Katami said.
“People buy the hype. Patriotism alone is not enough. We must market/hype our events,” Lindah Mbaisi, a PR practitioner, added.
Mandonga lived up to the hype and annihilated Wanyonyi in the sixth round of the 10-round super middleweight bout at KICC’s Ballroom in the wee hours of Sunday.
He won the fight via a technical knockout (TKO) after dominating the better part of the fight.
Mandonga was ecstatic in his typical character after the win and promised to treat Kenyan boxing fans to another episode of high octane boxing when he returns in April.
“Narudi tena Nairobi, Kenya hii Aprili ‘kumzika mtu’, raundi ya kwanza kaburi lake liko wapi? Muwekeni pale! Nitakuja na ngumi nyingine, sio Sugunyo tena,” Mandoga said.
Meanwhile, Okwiri won the main fight via a unanimous decision, with judges Julius Odhiambo and Franklin Imbenzi scoring 80 to 72 in his favour while Charles Oloo rated him 89 to 73.
With 11 fights now under his belt, Okwiri has a record of nine wins (including six knockouts), a tie, and one defeat ( 9-1-1).