Legendary Kenyan boxer Waruinge dies at 77

Legendary Kenyan boxer Waruinge dies at 77

Retired legendary Kenyan boxer Philip Waruinge is dead, the Boxing Federation of Kenya (BFK) has announced.

Through the General Secretary David Munuhe, the federation confirmed the most celebrated boxer has died at 77.

 His son Andrew Waruinge, the third born in a family of four, has informed the country's boxing federation that his father died on Tuesday night at his home town in Nakuru after a short illness.


"He had a problem with his left arm for sometime which we didn't take seriously but when pain persisted we took him to hospital, the left arm became numb. At the hospital they said he had neck complications and on Tuesday night our dad left us," said Andrew.


Andrew has two sisters Suzie and Nancy together with his brother Tom who is based in Japan and is also a former international boxer.


The late Waruinge first boxed for Kenya in a major event in the 1962 African Championships in Cairo, Egypt but did not get into the medal bracket.


Waruinge who was born in Murang’a is the first African boxer to win three gold medals in a row in the African Championships in 1964, 1966 and 1968.


Fondly known as Nakayama on the ring, he also won two gold medals in the 1966 and 1970 Commonwealth Games all in the featherweight category.


He also became the first Kenyan to win an Olympic medal in the sport in the 1968 Mexico City Summer Games, in the featherweight category where he took home a bronze. He also won the best boxer trophy in the competition, a reward that was prestigiously known as the Val Barker Trophy.


He followed up his prowess in 1972 during the Munich Olympic Games where he got a silver medal while his younger brother Sammy Mbugua got a bronze medal in the lightweight category at the same edition.


Waruinge turned professional in 1973 as a super bantamweight boxer fighting largely in Japan where he earned his nickname ‘Nakayama’.


In 1976 he tried to win the WBC Bantamweight titleholder against Carlos Zarate of Mexico but was outclassed and was knocked out in the fourth round. Two years later he decided to retire having competed in 25 professional bouts, winning 14, losing 10 and drawing 1.

When he came back to settle in Kenya he decided to live in Nakuru together with his beloved wife Mary Waruinge where they were doing chicken business.


David Munuhe Mexico Nakuru Tom BFK Munich Philip Waruinge Olympian Suzie

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