Boxing: Ongare inches closer to World Championship quarters

Kenya’s Christine Ongare stopped Tanzania’s Rahma Maganga to advance to the next round of the minimum weight in the ongoing IBA Women’s World Boxing Championship in New Delhi, India.

Ongare, the 2018 Commonwealth bronze medallist, was in control from the first round, choosing what punch to unleash against Tanzania, who had to receive eight counts in the first round.

Ongare stepped on her gas pedal further in the second round, pounding Maganga from all angles before the referee stepped in to save the Tanzanian from the assault.

The victory saw Kenya claim its first victory in 13 years at the world event.

Mary Muthoni was the first and last Kenyan woman to win a bout at the global event in 2010 in Barbados when she stopped Grenada’s Toussaint Chloe in round two.

Ongare will now meet the European Under-22 light flyweight champion Erivan Barut from Turkey for a place in the quarter-finals.

Barut edged out Guatemala’s Dayana Gonzalez to set up Ongare.

Ongare’s victory came as a great relief as six other Kenyan boxers lost their preliminary round bouts in the championship that got underway Thursday.

“I knew how to handle her, having beaten her at the regional championships in January. I had not prepared well then but I am in good form,” said Ongare, who is making her third appearance at the global event. “It feels good to finally win here.”

Just after Ongare’s victory, Friza Anyango lost to experienced and history-making Algerian Imane Khalif after the referee strangely stopped the welterweight bout 47 seconds into the first round.

“I am disappointed and heartbroken since I don’t know why the referee stopped the bout. There was no punch that unsettled me,“ said Anyango.

Khalif made history as the first African woman to medal in lightweight at the Women’s World Boxing Championship after she collected silver last year.

Earlier, Pauline Chege (featherweight), Anne Wanjiru (light flyweight), Amina Martha (bantamweight), Stacy Ayoma (lightweight) and Teresia Wanjiru (light welterweight) lost their preliminary round bouts.

Chege, who was making her debut, lost to Guatemala’s Reyes Moreno in featherweight. The bout had to be stopped thrice to enable Chege’s cornermen to tighten her loose bra.

Wanjiru had little to offer against Helena Bagao from Mozambique, losing her light flyweight 5-0 as Amina Martha went down to Johana Car Gomez Landaeta from Venezuela 4-1 in bantamweight.

Ayoma lost to Cristina Chiper of Madagascar 4-1 while Wanjiru bowed out to home pugilist Shashi Chopra 5-0.

Kenyan boxers yet to take the ring are Veronica Mbithe (flyweight), Lorna Kusa (light middleweight), Elizabeth Akinyi (middleweight) and Elizabeth Andiego (Captain- light heavyweight).

At stake is a total prize money of $2.4 million (Sh307m) with the gold medallists winning $100,000 (Sh12.8m), silver $50,000 (Sh6.4m) and two bronze medallists each earning $25,000 (Sh3.2m).

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