RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, Aug 7 – African champion Rayton Okwiri began his Rio Olympics gold hunt on a right path after punching his way to the round of 16 in the men’s welterweight 69 kg on Sunday.
Okwiri floored Russian Andrey Zamkovoy by a single point after the three rounds bout ended 2-1 in favour of the Kenyan who scored a total of 86 points, one more than the Russian.
The Kenyan boxer will now face Moroccan Mohammed Rabii in the round of 16 on Thursday as he seeks to reach the medal bracket in the Rio Olympics.
“It was a tough fight because the Russian is a smart boxer but I’m great to make it to the next round. The Moroccan is a good boxer as well but I’m ready for the contest,” Okwiri told Capital Sport from Rio.
The tight contest saw Okwiri trail round one after Zamkovoy, the London 2012 bronze medallist was awarded all the 10 points by each of the three judges while the Kenyan collected nine points each from the judges.
Okwiri, 30 years old, was steady in the second round where he picked two 10 points with the third judge handing him nine points as the Russian managed two 9 points and one 10.
The final round was more intense but Okwiri, the Aiba pro boxer managed to sail through when he pinned his opponent to the corner where he collected the crucial points after jabbing the Russian for all the judges to award him the 10 points.
After the final round when Okwiri was announced the winner, the Kenyan corner went into jubilation as Zamkovoy only managed to amass nine points each from all the three judges.