Kenya’s Rayton “Boom Boom” Okwiri defended his Africa Boxing Union (ABU) middleweight title on Saturday night at Charter Hall, Nairobi.
Okwiri claimed a unanimous point victory against stubborn Augustine “Big Ben” Matata from the Democratic Republic of Congo in a 10-round bout that left fans on the edge of their seats.
Okwiri, 33, dominated virtually in all rounds save for the fifth to score 96-92, 99-92 and 98-91 respectively.
A patient Okwiri started each round slowly by avoiding an exchange before gaining momentum to punish Matata with some good combinations.
The Congolese seemed to absorb the heavy barrages as he was cautioned several times for hitting below the belt and head-butting. That saw bout referee John Chipanuka from Zambia ordering the judges to deduct points from his card.
“We executed our game plan well. He proved strong and stubborn and that is why I avoided any exchange with him,” said Okwiri.” I also used my speed and ring skills to outsmart him.”
However, Okwiri, who now has six wins, no loss and a draw(6-0-1) acknowledged that Matata has been his toughest opponent so far.
“That is why I changed my sparring partners besides increasing the intensity in training. There are those opponents who you attack and those who you move around the ring,” explained Okwiri, who declared that he is ready for a big title next year.
Okwiri’s trainer David “Computer” Kiilu said his boxer stuck to instructions and never engaged Matata toe-to-toe.
“He had good upper cuts which Okwiri evaded well,” said Kiilu adding that they would try to secure an International Boxing Federation (IBF) bout for Okwiri next year.
Kenya’s Morris Okola and Nick “Makaveli” Mwangi beat their Malawi opponents to win their heavyweight and super lightweight titles.
Okola scored a unanimous decision against Laban Lano in the eight-round bout while Mwangi took two minutes and 49 seconds of the second round to knockout Laban Chikapa. The bout was scheduled for six rounds.