All Africa games bronze medalist Rayton Okwiri kicked off his chase for Rio Olympic ticket in resounding style knocking out top seed Austrian boxer Marcos Nader in their preliminary welter weight bout of the International Boxing Association’s, AIBA, on Saturday in Azerbaijan.
The Kenyan boxer, who failed to proceed past the preliminaries last August at the Commonwealth Games got past his tricky start knocking out the EBU European Union belt holder and Welterweights’ seed number one Nader in the second round of their Pre-Ranking contest in the Azeri capital, Baku.
According to the bout records the 28 year old Kenyan considered as an outsider in his weight category, released a right hand hook that turned out to be a shock for his Austrian opponent with a glittering 18-11 record.
Nader, 24, who is the only Austrian boxer in APB ranks now bears a tremendous responsibility in front of his home-country supporters and will be looking forward to get back on track on his way to APB glory.
Okwiri will next face Turkey’s Onur Sipal as he seeks his ticket to Rio 2016.
Sipal won the six-rounds contest against Lithuania’s Eimantas Stanionis that he largely dominated before wrapping up with a victory by points on unanimous decision.
Njangiru faces Argentine
The 2008 Beijing Olympian Sipal won a silver medal at the World University Boxing Championships in 2010 whilst campaigning as a lightweight and also a bronze three years later in the 2013 Summer University Games.
Okwiri and Benson Nganjiru, a bronze medalist from Scotland, are the only two Kenyan boxers that were selected by AIBA to compete in the top-class Pro Boxing competition.
Njangiru will face Argentine Alberto Melian, 24, also a London Olympian finalist. The AIBA Pro Boxing, APB competition that began this week is a based on individual rankings and introduced by AIBA to showcase the best features of Pro Boxing.
The pre-ranking phase, which will run through to January 31 2015, will identify authentic champions in each weight category.
Rio 2016 will be the first Olympic Games allowing pro boxers to compete. The only way pro boxers can qualify for the Olympic Games in 2016 is the APB competition.