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Olympics bound Okoth bags silver in boxing qualifiers

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 29 – Tokyo Olympic Games bound Nicholas Okoth scooped silver as the Africa Boxing Qualification concluded on Saturday in Dakar, Senegal following his loss to Zambian youngster Everisto Mulenga in the final of men’s featherweight.

Okoth, the Kenya Boxing ‘Hit Squad’ captain, had already booked ticket to the Olympics on Thursday after winning his semifinal bout against Ugandan Isaac Masembe. He will be making a comeback to the Summer Games for the first time since 2008, where he competed in Beijing, China.

Mulenga, 20, was only eight years old when Nick Okoth last boxed at the Olympics and the Zambian was just a bit too quick and energetic for Kenyan, who turns 37 in a few weeks, in the featherweight decider.

Okoth did his best to time the attack of Mulenga, but he was a wildly moving target, buzzing in and out of range, switching between southpaw and orthodox.

Okoth did catch up with Mulenga in the final round, landing two left hooks together and then a big left hand that knocked out the Zambian’s mouthguard.

The decision was unanimous, though, Mulenga winning 30-27 on two cards and 29-28 on three. Mulenga does have a bad habit of attacking with his hands low, but he is improving all the time.

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