Morocco’s Rio 2016 Olympian Mohammed Rabii starts with a victory in Casablanca
Eight preliminary contests were held on the opening day of the AFBC African Confederation Boxing Championships in Casablanca, Morocco, where the winners of the Welterweight (69 kg) and Light Heavyweight (81 kg) matched secured their place in the quarter-finals.
Bout of the day
Egypt’s Walid Sedik Mohamed recently claimed gold in the Golden Belt Tournament, and won the very first bout of the AFBC African Confederation Boxing Championships with a hard fought victory over Algeria’s Sofiane Tabi.
The 22-year-old Egyptian Welterweight (69 kg) boxer had to deal with fierce body punches from his Algerian opponent, but rode through the storm in the early rounds to prevail in a very entertaining contest.
Team of the day
Uganda sent eight boxers to the Championships, and both of their debuting hopes won their contests in impressive style.
Newly crowned National Champion Nasser Mutabali Bukenya received the right to box for his nation for the very first time in such a big competition, and the 24-year-old Welterweight not only defeated, but dominated his bout against Ivory Coast’s Souleymane Bamba.
His compatriot Kennedy Katende qualified for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and fought for Sweden until 2013, but has now returned to his homeland to fight under his national flag.
Katende’s opening opponent was Congo’s De-Westel Kala, who was fighting out of his country for the very first time.
Despite a brave effort from Kala who showed plenty of determination, Katende’s class and experience proved to be too much as he won by unanimous decision.
Surprise of the day
Mauritius’ Indian Ocean Islands Games winner Merven Clair arrived to the venue of the Championships with great expectations, but was surprisingly defeated by Tunisia’s Mohamed Amine in an all-action bout.
Morocco’s Mohammed Rabii won all of his bouts in the Season V of the World Series of Boxing, and advanced to the quarter-finals of his home event by eliminating Botswana’s African Zonal Champion Mmusi Tswiige.
Ghana’s National Trials winner Mohammed Ali also reached the next round when he produced a spectacular third round performance to narrowly outpoint Ivory Coast’s Aboubacar Yoadahas at Light Heavyweight.
Fact of the day
103 boxers from 19 nations arrived to the general weigh-in of the AFBC African Confederation Boxing Championships, where Algeria, Gabon and hosts Morocco are competing with the maximum number of ten boxers.
Among the developing African boxing nations, Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo, Ivory Coast, Mali, Sudan, Swaziland and Togo have all sent teams to Casablanca.
Quote of the day
“It felt good to be back in the ring in a major Championships. The Congolese boxer was an ideal opponent, I caught him several times but he never went down. I was sick just three days ago and I can still feel it, but never worried about the fight. My tactic was to move and punch, while sometimes meeting him in the middle of the ring.. I am looking forward to my next contest against the younger Moroccan boxer,” said Uganda’s WSB boxer Kennedy Katende.
The second day of the preliminaries will be held tomorrow, where seventeen bouts will be held at the Bantamweight (56 kg), Lightweight (60 kg), Light Welterweight (64 kg) and Middleweight (75 kg) weight classes.