Kenya’s Top Boxers in Berlin Ahead of 2015 AIBA Pro Boxing

Rayton Okwiri, Benson Gicharu
(l. to r.) Rayton Okwiri, and Benson Gicharu

As part of the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) new offer, boxers from various countries have a chance to shape-up professionally in readiness for the newly introduced pro-boxing ranks. 

Different training camps have been set up around the world including one in Berlin where the Kenyan duo Rayton Okwiri and Benson Gicharu will be training alongside the Argentinian team.

The duo are expected to fly directly from their training base to the host nations then return home after their bouts. Cycle 1 of the APB which comprises two rounds will run from late May to September while Cycle 2 which also features two rounds will run from October to January 2016.

Okwiri and Gicharu are expected in Germany this week depending on how fast their visas are processed. Bantamweight Gicharu is pitted against China’s Jiawei Zhang in Round 1 of Cycle 1 on May 30 while Okwiri is lined up against Denys Lazarev of Ukraine on June 6 with Nickson Abaka fighting Mario Delgado of Ecuador the same day.

The APB event will also provide a platform for a clear and transparent judging system to be practised. “This is a very good opportunity for us because here in Kenya we have poorly equipped gymnasiums. At least we can now face the Europeans, Asians and American pros with the much needed confidence and on an equal footing,” said Okwiri. “It’s a shame that we could miss the first session of training due to visa issues but we hope to be in Germany three weeks prior to our next fights,” said Gicharu.

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