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Okwiri loses pro bout to Turkish fighter

Kenya’s stylish welter-weight boxer, Rayton Okwiri, suffered his first loss in the AIBA professional boxing when Onur Sipal of Turkey beat him on unanimous point decision, 3:0 (56:58, 54:60 and 55:59) on Saturday.

Okwiri was Kenya’s only hope of getting a qualification for the 2016 Rio Olympics through AIBA pro-boxing.

He had won one contest and was supposed to register two more victories for him to secure his place in Rio. All the two finalists in the 10 weight categories will qualify for the Olympics.

Okwiri started the first four bouts on a low key as all the three judges gave them to his opponent.

However, judge number one, Athmane Lazizi (Algeria) gave the fifth and sixth rounds to Okwiri while judge number three, Kestutis Bagdanavicius (Lithuania) gave Okwiri the sixth round.

DOMINATED ALL ROUNDS

According to judge number two, Rakhymzhan Rysbayer (Kazakhstan) Okwiri’s opponent dominated all the six rounds.

All the three Kenyan boxers taking part in the AIBA pro-boxing, entered the event from the deep end as virtually all their opponents had gone through the AIBA-World Series of Boxing (WSB)  championships as semi-professionals.

The most the Kenyans have done was just take part in a local boxing league dominated by three clubs, Kenya Police, Kenya Prisons and the Kenya Defense Forces.

The other two Kenyan boxers in the AIBA professional boxing are middle-weight, Nick Abaka (KDF) and bantam-weight Benson Gicharu (Police).