•Karanja said he is eager to test his resolve against the reigning global champion after running over the African title holder in his first acid test at the Humo Arena in the South Asian nation.
•He roasted the ring on a chilly Monday night to stomp out Botswana’s Mohamed Otukile Rajab on a unanimous points decision in an engrossing round of 32 duels.
Africa Zone 3 Boxing Championships flyweight gold medallist David Karanja has vowed to vanquish his opponents and capture the title at the ongoing IBA World Boxing Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Karanja said he is eager to test his resolve against the reigning global champion after running over the African title holder in his first acid test at the Humo Arena in the South Asian nation.
He roasted the ring on a chilly Monday night to stomp out Botswana’s Mohamed Otukile Rajab on a unanimous points decision in an engrossing round of 32 duels.
“I thank God for the victory. I’d also like to thank my instructors for effectively leading me through the bout. They were the ones who gave me the game plan and shared the tips I used to defeat my opponent,” Karanja explained.
This was no mean feat for the Kenyan pugilist given Otukile stormed the flyweight gold medal at the 2019 Africa Games after flooring Shaffi Bakari of Kenya in the championship match.
With the first real hurdle well behind him, Karanja has pledged to turn Japan’s Tomoya Tsuboi into mincemeat when he struts into the ring next in the highly anticipated pre-quarterfinal clash.
Tsuboi, who changed his cluster weight this year, is a force to be reckoned with after winning the bantamweight gold medal at the 2021 AIBA World Boxing Championships.
“I’m pleased with my first victory in Uzbekistan, and I’m now focused on the task ahead, which will be against a former World champion.
“He’s a Japanese fighter, and I’m going back to the drawing board to appropriately prepare for him. I’m confident that God will grant us victory.”
Karanja said he plans to recreate his performance at the Africa Zone 3 Boxing Championships in Kinshasa, Congo, where he punched viciously to finish atop the podium after defeating Bakora Kalongo on a 3-2 point split decision.
On the local scene, Karanja plays for the National Police Service team ‘Chafua Chafua’ and basked in the spotlight after winning the Best Male Boxer award in the second President Jamal Boxing Championship in Kisumu in 2021.
Hit Squad assistant coach Dave Munuhe lavished praise on Karanja and his two other colleagues — Boniface Mugunde and Hezron Maganga — who thumped their opponents to secure victories in the championships.
“Our boxers’ outstanding performance attests to just how far we have progressed and our potential to stamp authority on a global scale,” Munuhe said.
“At the previous championships, all of our boxers were defeated in the preliminary round, but this year, things appear to be improving as three of our team members have already won their first matches to advance to the next round.”
Munuhe expressed joy on behalf of the technical bench, emphasizing how glad they are that the fighters are following their instructions. “This type of tournament allows us to face off with the best fighters in the world and we are overjoyed when we beat them.”