Congo’s Ardi Ndembo won the Africa Boxing Union (ABU) regional heavyweight title via third-round TKO over Zimbabwe’s Vincent Muziri at Millennium Towers in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday, October 13.
The South Africa-based Ndembo (5-0, 4 KOs) took charge of the fight from the first round, rocking Muziri (4-2, 1 KO) with heavy shots to the head and body.
A subdued Muziri took more punishment in the second, hardly shaking the stronger Ndembo with any telling punch.
The end occurred in the third round when a right cross to the jaw sent Muziri tumbling to the canvas.
Tanzanian referee John Chaggu counted up to six when Muziri pulled himself up. Chaggu took a close look, asking Muziri if he wished to continue but the groggy fighter seemed to have lost his appetite for the fight. Chaggu called off the fight at 1:59 of the third round.
Eyebrows were raised in the co-feature as Malawi’s Hannock Phiri (3-0-1, 3 KOs) appeared to have done enough to outpoint Tanzania’s Salim Jengo (16-4-1, 10 KOs) but the fight for the vacant ABU super lightweight title ended in a 10-round split decision draw.
Judges Modest Rashid and Pendo Njau scored it 94-94 and 95-95 respectively while John Chaggu had it 96-93 in favor of Phiri.
In heavyweight action, Chris Thompson of South Africa (11-2-1,1 KO) and Uganda’s Shafik Kiwanuka (3-0-1, 3 KOs) battled to a 10-round draw.
In the most entertaining bout of the night, Kenya’s Rayton Okwiri (8-0-1, 6 KOs) scored an eighth-round TKO over Uganda’s John Serunjogi (8-2, 4 KOs) in a scheduled 10-round middleweight non-title fight.
It was Okwiri’s eighth consecutive victory. His performance won the admiration of card promoter Donhalla Shemuni of Tanzania.
“I’m very impressed by Okwiri’s performance, I will give him another fight next month in Dar. I want him fight for the vacant ABU super-middleweight fight,” said Shemuni.
Okwiri dropped the Ugandan in the third round and continued battered him throughout. The Kenyan southpaw closed the show in the eighth, landing a left cross to the face of the Ugandan who staggered and nearly went down. The fight was mercifully waved on then.
“I’m happy with my win,” said Okwiri. “The referee should have stopped the fight earlier. I really punished the Ugandan. I salute him for absorbing my punches. Now I want to take a short break in Kenya and then start my preparations for my next fight on November 26 against a Zimbabwean boxer in Dar.”