Elly Ajowi, Former Africa Zone 3 Super Heavyweight Champion, Retires from Boxing
Nairobi, Kenya - Elly Ajowi, the reigning 2022 Africa Zone 3 Super heavyweight champion, has officially announced his retirement from boxing. Ajowi, aged 39 and a Corporal in the National Police Service, shared his decision from his training base at the Mathare Depot Gymnasium in Nairobi.
In an interview with People Sport, Ajowi expressed his intention to transition into coaching young aspiring boxers, aiming to provide guidance and mentorship to those who view him as a role model. He stated, "I have been in the sport for quite some time and I felt it was high time. I said adios (goodbye) to the sport to give youngsters a chance to prove themselves."
Reflecting on his journey, Ajowi acknowledged the profound impact boxing has had on his life. He remarked, "I believe I have achieved a lot beyond my expectations. Boxing gave me a job and shaped my career, and I cannot thank God enough for the achievements."
Ajowi highlighted the challenges that come with continuing in amateur boxing at his age, mentioning that fatigue sets in, particularly in the legs. He believes it's the right time to rest his body and provide younger generations the opportunity to showcase their skills.
Recalling his career achievements, Ajowi mentioned winning consecutive Kenya Open championships and securing a gold medal at the Africa Zone 3 championships in Kinshasa in March 2021 under the leadership of Jamal Otieno, the chairperson of the Boxing Federation Kenya (BKF).
Ajowi's career milestones include winning the Sports Journalist Personality of the Month award in March 2021, a recognition bestowed by the Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK). He stands as the sole male boxer in his division to have received such accolades. His journey to prominence began in 2015 when he clinched a bronze medal in Congo Brazzaville, followed by another bronze in Rabat, Morocco in 2019.
Despite his accomplishments, Ajowi faced disappointment during the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Critics branded the Kenyan boxing contingent 'old and out of fashion,' prompting calls from the Boxing Association of Kenya (BAK) for the inclusion of fresh talents in the team.
From a modest background as a matatu tout, earning a meager wage of Sh300 to Sh400 a day, Ajowi reflected on his humble origins in Dasndora and his remarkable ascent to prominence. He stated, "I came from humble beginnings, and this was what I took home just to put food on the table for my family. The rest is history."
With his boxing days behind him, Ajowi is now committed to nurturing and mentoring a new generation of boxers from neighborhoods such as Mathare, Kariobangi, and Dandora. He aspires to guide these young men and women toward success in the sport, much like he accomplished during his remarkable career.