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Anger, tears as Tanzanian boxer is ‘robbed’ of victory

By , People Daily Digital
Friday, October 22nd, 2021 00:00 | 2 mins read
Kenyan boxer Serah Achieng (right) take on Malawian Anisha Basheel during one of the bouts at City Hall on Wednesday. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

Officiating of Professional boxing in Kenya is bound to come under scrutiny after Tanzanian boxer was ‘robbed of’ victory in a title fight against a local pugilist on Mashujaa Day.

Tanzanian Featherweight boxer Ali Bakari left Nairobi a very bitter man after he was adjudged to have lost to Kenya’s Victor Wesonga despite having beaten the latter almost to submission in the 10-round bout for the vacant Syndicate of Tanzania (SOT) title.

Bakari openly shed tears at City Hall’s changing room after what many believed that the Tanzanian southpaw boxer had done enough to win the contest.

“I’m used to boxing but I must say they (judges) favoured your boxer. This is sabotage which has left me crestfallen,” he told People Sport.

Even Africa’s Boxing Union (ABU) middleweight champion Rayton Okwiri concurred with the majority that Bakari was indeed a victim of open bias.

“Sometime it can be disheartening when you train hard only to lose through partial decisions.

I don’t want to take sides but you all saw what happened and can make your honest observation,” said Okwiri.

Complains

Bakari’s complaints can be understood because right from the right from the first bell moments after the Tanzanian and Kenyan national anthems were belted out, he stung like a bee and floated like a butter fly like the legendary Mohammed Ali,  giving Wesonga no breathing space with savagely fierce punches.

Incidentally, he 21-year-old was slower off the blocks in the first round but once he got his footing in the third round, there was no stopping him.

This was despite Wesonga being spurred on by a small band but noisy supporters composed of BoxGirls Kenya who were eagerly waiting for the main bout featuring Kenya’s Sarah Achieng against Anisha Basheel of Malawi.

Ironically, in a post=bout interview, Wesonga said he believed he had outclassed Bakari to win the vacant title.

“He Bakari was intent on knocking me out using unorthodox means. You may have been misled into believing that he outclassed me but all along he kept his guard down which gave me leeway to aim at his tummy which is why IO scored many points,” said Wesonga from the Administration Police.