In-form Okwiri knocks out Colombia’s Munoz
Africa middleweight champion Rayton Okwiri has knocked out Colombia’s Fidel Monterrosa Munoz in round two of a scheduled eight-round non-title fight in Portland Mains in America to stretch his unbeaten record to seven fights – five knockouts and one draw.
The Kenyan 2016 Olympics quarter-finalist was in a no-nonsense mood, taking the fight to his opponent who made three trips to the canvas after being caught with left punches forcing the referees to save punch-drunk Munoz.
Okwiri, 35, has now dropped the 33-year-old Colombian record to 39 wins, 26 losses and one draw after he turned professional in 2006.
The former Colombian National Lightweight champion came out charging in the first round, probably hoping to scare Okwiri who stood firm and changed the tide of the fight to his favour.
Okwiri fought in a high tempo pressing the back-pedalling Munoz from the first round hitting him with an alarming frequency digging deep with body blows at times and keeping the Columbian busy with lightning jabs.
A cracking left jab sent Munoz to the canvas for an eight-count which was followed by two more trips to the canvas, and that’s when the referee decided to halt the proceedings to save the Columbian from further punishment and possible disaster.
“He took me for granted thinking I’m a pushover. I began carrying the fight to him with snapping jabs. He was a tough boxer, he caught me with a hard overhand left in the first round, that’s when I decided if l let him go more than two rounds he would trouble me.
“We were using eight-ounce gloves, most people say southpaws normally don’t follow their opponents but I carried the fight to him. The more I pressurized him I realized he was getting confused, breathing heavily and walking into my punches,” said Okwiri.
A sergeant with Kenya Prisons Service, Okwiri said he dedicated the victory to the Commissioner-General of Prisons Wycliffe Ogallo CBS and the entire staff.
“The Commissioner and his deputy have been so supportive, I thank them so much for allowing me to fight as a professional while still being their employee. I’m planning to be boxing in Prisons colours in some of my fights,” added the Olympian.
A subdued Munoz, 33, later said: “He’s a fast and strong boxer.”
Okwiri was featured in a card promoted by Michael Reyes who is also his head trainer.
The Kenyan showed no signs of rustiness having last fought in December 2019 in Nairobi when he successfully defended his Africa Boxing Union middleweight title against Augustine Matata from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Okwiri is planning to have another fight in the USA before coming to Nairobi and then move to Dar es Salaam for another fight at the end of September.