African Men’s and Women’s Boxing Championships starts today, July 30, at Yaounde Sports Complex with first exciting bouts.
A total of 206 boxers – 142 men and 64 women – from 26 African countries are in Yaounde for the premier African boxing tournament. The men’s featherweight and lightweight divisions have attracted the highest number of participants each with 16 boxers.
DR Congo’s Marcelat Sakobi Burundi’s Ornella Havyarimana and Algeria’s Fatma Abdelkader, all of them silver medallists in last year’s Africa Championships in Maputo, are among the high-profile women boxers to be featured in the seven quarterfinals.
Sakobi meets Senegal’s Dieynabou Diallo at feather, bantamweight Havyarimana battles Benilde Macaringue of Mozambique while Fatma has a date with Ugandan rookie Nadia Najjemba.
With defending champion Keamogetse Kenosi of Botswana, South Africa’s Phiwokuhle Mnguni and Zambia’s Juliana Kasonka missing in action, Sakobi is hotly favored to win gold in the featherweight division. She has twice lost to Kenosi, first in the finals of 2019 African Games in Rabat, Morocco, and in last year’s Africa Championships in Maputo.
The two men’s super-heavyweight quarterfinal bouts will feature Nigeria’s London-based Adedeji Adegbola vs Cameroon’s Mvogo Serge Zacharie with Kenya’s Fred Ramogi meeting Algeria’s silver medallist in Maputo Mourad Kadi.
Defending champions, featherweight Armando Sigauque of Mozambique and DR Congo’s light-heavyweight Pita Kabeji Peter are also in the mix with the Mozambican boxer meeting Uganda’s debutant but promising Khassim Mulungi who can cause a significant upset because he’s a boxer on a mission. Kabeji will clash with Burundi’s Ebenezer Zoungrana.
The gold medallists will get $15,000, the silver medalists – $10,000, and the bronze – $5000.
The battle for supremacy is between hosts Cameroon, Morocco, and defending champions Algeria who upstaged Mozambique last year, finishing tops with 41 points followed by Mozambique, Zambia and Morocco in fourth position. Cameroon and DR Congo finished fifth place each with two gold, three silver, and four bronze medals.