The day Mandonga raided Wanyonyi on his home turf
Tanzanian boxer Karim Mandonga seemed to have been on a mission to avenge on behalf of fellow countryman Ali Bakari who controversially lost to Kenya’s Victor Wesonga two years ago in Nairobi for the vacant Syndicate of Tanzania (SOT) title
Bakari, a southpaw, returned home a bitter man after he was adjudged to have lost to Wesonga despite having beaten the latter almost to submission in the 10-round bout.
The 23-year-old openly shed tears at City Hall’s changing room after many believed he had done enough to win the contest.
Ominously, tables were turned at Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) Tsavo Ball Room on Saturday night when Morogoro-based Tanzanian pugilist Mandonga, alias Mtu Kazi, made easy work of Kenya’s Daniel Wanyonyi in a non-title super-middleweight bout.
Spurred on by Kenya-based Tanzanian boxing fans, Mandonga, who is in the transport business in Morogoro, made good his earlier warning to Wanyonyi: “Kaka, Nitakupa funzo kubwa la masumbwi (Brother, I shall give you a big lesson in boxing).”
Tough as nails in the fights christened Rumble in KICC, Mandonga even dared to say that he will be back in Kenya in April to ‘bury’ yet another Kenyan contestant.
“I will be back in Kenya to bury yet another one. Where is his tomb?” posed Mandonga amid wild cheers from his fans.
Mandonga, whose braggadocio ahead of the fight had elicited a buzz on the social media, landed a tough blow on Wanyonyi’s head in the middle of the first round during which time Wanyonyi had yet to find his footing.
No breathing space
As the fight wore on, the Tanzanian’s punches were decisive as Wanyonyi wobbled on the canvas in the fifth round.
Eventually, Wanyonyi could not get back to the ring thus handing the visitor victory which he dedicated to his motherland Tanzania.
“This is victory to us all and especially to my fellow Tanzanians. Common sense dictates that whenever you go to war, it should be like bombs during war which defines my fists,”
Mandonga was almost unstoppable from the first bell giving Wanyonyi no breathing space with savagely fierce punches.
Since landing in Kenya for the fight, Mandonga kept trending on the internet with his hilarious pre and post-bout interviews.
But one thing which endeared Mandonga to many is his sportsmanship mien by conceding victory every time he lost in his past bouts.
“If you beat me, I accept the results and move on. I’m not the kind of person who goes to the media complaining about this and that.
“If I beat you, just accept it, go back to the drawing board and come up with a winning formula,” said Mandonga who is under the tutelage of Saidi Kisopu and Mocha “Kaka wa Tanzania” in his native country.