•Poster kid, Rayton Okwiri, electrified the home crowd with an exhilarating performance to thump Tanzanian Ally Ndaro in their closely contested, action-packed middleweight battle.
•Despite Okwiri's determination to annihilate his opponent early in the combat, the two fought all the way to the decisive round, with the Tanzanian putting up a valiant effort.
The eagerly anticipated Solid Rock boxing extravaganza lived up to the hype at Nairobi's KICC Tsavo ballroom, with Kenyan fighters notching a variety of victories.
Poster kid, Rayton Okwiri, electrified the home crowd with an exhilarating performance to thump Tanzanian Ally Ndaro in their closely contested, action-packed middleweight battle.
Despite Okwiri's determination to annihilate his opponent early in the combat, the two fought all the way to the decisive round, with the Tanzanian putting up a valiant effort.
A dissatisfied Okwiri, however, claimed his adversary employed shady strategies to drag the battle out.
"I'm disappointed that the referee did nothing to liberate me from Ndaro since he kept limiting my movement in the ring by grabbing me," Okwiri stated.
“I had planned to finish off the job by the fifth round but my opponent used dubious tactics to prolong the conflict up to the 10th round,” he said.
Okwiri had to endure a cut he received in the sixth round to his forehead. In their unanimous decision, judges Julius Odhiambo and Franklin Imbenzi scored Okwiri 80 to 72, 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).
Tanzanian Karim "Mtu Kazi" Mandonga demolished his Kenyan opponent Daniel Wanyonyi in another thrilling bout to fulfill his pre-match "Sugunyo" banter.
Mandonga drew the battle line with a barrage of punches that left Wanyonyi gasping for air throughout the one-sided encounter.
The 10-round super middleweight contest ended in a technical knockout for Mandonga when Wanyonyi failed to return after the fifth round.
When the bell for the sixth round rang, Wanyonyi remained in his corner, causing the match referee Julius Odhiambo to proclaim Mandonga the victor.
“I told you I am here for serious business and my opponent has felt the impact of my destructive punches,” Mandonga said upon his victory.
"I didn't want to let down the many spectators that came out to watch this historic fight. The crowd was amazing, and their size is a resounding indication that the sport is developing quickly," Mandonga said.
"Wanyonyi fought brilliantly, and I had to use wit and expertise to defeat him," Mandonga added. Wanyonyi apologised for losing and praised his Tanzanian opponent, saying that he deserved to win.
He blamed his loss on a protracted layoff. “I had not engaged in combat for five years, so I was very rusty. When I ran out of steam, Mandonga had it all under control since he was at the top of his game," Wanyonyi remarked.
With this victory, Mandonga has now won five matches overall, including three knockouts and a draw.
In other matches, Praxides Adhiambo shocked seasoned fighter Jane Kavukani with points in their four-round featherweight non-title fight. In the heavyweight category, James Nyariki of Kenya lost to Cedric Oliver from Mauritius by unanimous points.
Super middleweight contender Lucien Botumbe of the Democratic Republic of the Congo knocked out Adel Motean of Mauritius.
Commonwealth champion and Africa 100m record holder Ferdinand Omanyala was among the many Kenyans who thronged the venue to witness the moment. Former WBC champion Fatma Zarika also graced the occasion.