The 1987 Hit Squad_
When the Hit Squad made boxing history at the fourth All Africa Games that Kenya hosted slightly about 30 years ago
Light-flyweight: Maurice Maina started boxing in 1982 with Kenya Breweries and the following year moved to Kimbo before joining Kenya Prisons in 1984. His first assignment for the national team was in 1986 during the Inter-Cup in the then West Germany.
Flyweight: Daniel Mwangi started the game in 1979 at Nakuru Boxing Club under the watchful eye of coach Peter Morris. He represented Kenya at the 1984 in Los Angeles Olympic Games and in 1986 won gold at the annual King’s Cup in Bangkok, Thailand. Also, winner of several continental and regional titles.
Bantamweight: Steve Mwema boxed for Nairobi City Council Boxing Club and came to the limelight in 1984 when he won the Kenya Open, and automatic slot in the national team. In 1986 Mwema represented Kenya in an international event in Italy where he won a silver medal, subsequently secured a boxing scholarship in Yugoslavia due to his impressive performance. He was undefeated during the Yugoslavia boxing league season.
Featherweight: John Wanjau won a silver medal in his debut in the national team during the 1979 East and Central Africa Championship in Nairobi. He represented Kenya in many international competitions thereafter, including the 1984 Olympics. He won gold at the 1983 All Africa Boxing Championship in Kampala, Uganda, and another gold in the regional event the same year.
Lightweight: Patrick Waweru first represented Kenya at the 1976 regional tournament and settled for a bronze medal. He featured at the 1984 Olympics, won gold at the 1982 and 1984 King’s Cup contests and crowned it with another gold in the 1987 regional event.
Light-welterweight: David “DK” Kamau joined Nakuru club in 1979 and his first appearance for the national team was during the 1986 King’s Cup event where he settled for a silver medal. In 1985 he left Nakuru to join Post Office Boxing club. He won several Africa and regional titles.
Welterweight: Robert Napunyi Wangila’s first assignment with the national team was in 1986 during an international friendly against the Soviet Union and he demolished his opponent in the third round. He was undefeated in the regional and continental competitions.
Light-middleweight: Mohamed Orungi’s first outing was during the 1985 King’s Cup tournament in Thailand, though he was eliminated in the preliminary rounds. The same year Orungi punched his way to the finals of the regional championship only to lose to a Zambian controversially on points. In 1986 Orungi settled for a bronze medal in the Inter Cup in West Germany.
Middlewight: Martin “Nyoka” Ojuang started boxing in 1976 with Railways Club and his first outing was in 1985 during the King’s Cup where he was eliminated in the preliminaries. In 1986 he won gold in an international event in Italy, and another gold at the Inter-Cup Championship in West Germany.
Light-heavyweight: Joseph Akhasamba featured for the national team for the first time in 1986 during an internation al friendly against the Soviet Union. The visitors had been invited as part of celebrations to mark the Jamhuri Day festivities. Akhasamba lost on points, but went on to win the regional crown and lost in the final of the King’s Cup in 1987.
Heavyweight: Harold Obunga was initially a footballer, but switched to boxing in 1983 when he joined Post Office Club. The following year he won the Kenya Open and went on to represent the country in major tournaments in Scandinavian countries as well as Inter-Cup. He won bronze at the 1986 regional championship.
Super-heavyweight: Chris Odera began his career in 1982 with Nairobi City Council Boxing Club. His international debut was in 1983 at the All Africa Championship in Kampala, Uganda and settled for silver.