All Kenyan boxers are now out of contention at the Tokyo Olympic Games after two more boxers lost their matches at the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo on Tuesday.
Heavyweight Elly Ajowi and Elizabeth Akinyi suffered defeats in one sided bouts in the Japanese Capital.
Heavyweight Elly Ajowi became the third Kenyan boxer to exit the 2020 Tokyo competition following a 5-0 loss to Cuban Julio La Cruz in the round of 16 bout.
Akinyi on the other hand became the fourth to lose after being stopped by Mozambique boxer Panguana Alcinda in the round of 16. Ajowi bow the full brunt of the Cuban who advanced to the pre-quarters of the competition.
La Cruz won gold at the Rio 2016 Games and four amateur world titles at light-heavyweight but his swagger was still the same in the higher weight category.
The 31-year-old, nicknamed ‘La Sombra’ or ‘the Shadow’ for his distinctive defensive technique, dropped his guard on multiple occasions to draw Ajowi in only to hit him on the counter-attack and move away with nimble footwork.
Next up for La Cruz will be Spaniard Emmanuel Reyes Pla, who knocked out Vassiliy Levit of Kazakhstan in round two with a flurry of punches to the head.
Okoth lost 3-2 to Mongolian Erdenebat Tsendbaatar in their round of 32 featherweight duel on Saturday afternoon. But coach Musa Benjamin faulted the Moroccan judge for not scoring any round in Okoth’s favour.
Thereafter, Irish Magno of Philippines defeated Kenya’s Christine Ongare via unanimous decision in the women’s flyweight division round of 32 . Ongare was the second Kenyan to be sent packing.
Elsewhere, heavyweight boxing world champion Muslim Gadzhimagomedov’s bid to add Olympic gold to his resume got off to a convincing start on Tuesday before New Zealander David Nyika’s Games debut was blighted by an attempted bite from his Moroccan opponent.
Russian Gadzhimagomedov’s biggest challenge could come from Julio Cesar La Cruz and the Cuban showed why at the Kokugikan Arena, a traditional sumo wrestling venue adorned with posters of the fighters.
Twice Commonwealth Games gold medallist Nyika also proved too strong for his opponent in the first two rounds and it left a frustrated Youness Baalla to try and dig his teeth into the Kiwi boxer’s ear during a hold in the third.
Nyika managed to pull out in time before completing a unanimous victory on points. Baalla was later disqualified for unsportsmanlike behaviour.