I will be back stronger, says Tanzanian boxer Selemani to Ochieng

Chairman Kenya Professional Boxing Commission Reuben Ndolo (left) and African Boxing Union middleweight title holder Rayton Okwiri award Kenya's Gabriel Ochieng after knocking out Tanzanian Mbarouk Salemani in All African UBO Super Bantamweight title that lasted 1 minute 59 seconds.The bout promoted by AEMEMAX was held at the Charter Hall in Nairobi on Saturday night. March 5, 2022. [Photo: Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Tanzanian boxer Mbarouk Selemani said it’s just a matter of time before he bounces back.

Selemani noted that he has learned several lessons that will enable him to counter his opponents in future.

“I came, I learned and I will come back. This time well prepared for a gruelling battle. I went down but am not yet out," said Selemani as he left the country back home.

He noted that he did not expect the fight to end that easily and Gabriel Ochieng carry the day.

 "I have been taught to compete and fight hard. I respect Gabriel for his courage and discipline in the ring. He got the opportunity and used it well," said Selemani.

On his part, Ochieng said he will baptise Seleman with fire if he come again.

"I don't think it will not be anything different. I will take him as he comes. I know his weakness and I will capitalize on it," said Ochieng.

Ochieng first won the title in 2018 in Nairobi when he defeated Tanzanian Ramadhan Kumbele.

The 35-year-old would later lose the title to Ghanaian Joseph Agbeko in a bout staged in Accra In 2019.

He has also proved capable of holding his own in a tear-up; enjoying five memorable international battles. Last weekend, Kenyan boxer Gabriel "Sokwe" Ochieng successfully won and was crowned the champion of the All-African Universal Boxing Organization (UBO) Super Bantam Weight title after knocking down Selemani at Charter Hall Nairobi in a fight that lasted only two minutes.

The two titled bouts saw boxers drawn from East African states of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania taking part.

Meanwhile, the organisers of last week's bout, Aememax Sports Promoters have lined a series of events that will promote local boxers.

The group CEO Isaac Warui said the company is working on how to get back the boxing game on track after the Covid -19 pandemic and appealed to well wishers to stand with boxers in order to familiarize the sport.

"We need to have more of Wangila's through the new crop we have seen in the tournament. With champions here, we will support them scale high through organising more matches for them," said Warui.

He further noted that Kenya should have a good transition of boxers in order to fill the gap that will be left by the current professionals.

"Currently we have the likes of WBC female super-bantamweight title holder Fatuma Zarika and Rayton Okwiri, the African Boxing Union middleweight title. We need to nurture new crop to take over from them. Is just a matter of time," said Warui.

"We see future professional boxers in making through this tournament. With more sponsors on board, we will be able to make more of this where our upcoming boxers will be nurtured." On his part Ochieng said, with such matches, he will be able to climb the ladder and reach the WBC title.

 "I have been out of the ring for a while during the two year break and it has really affected my career. With more bouts, I will be able to reach to international stages and weigh my ability that will spring me to the WBC title," said Ochieng.

"I look forward to bigger things ahead. We have many talents around that need such opportunities to rise."

The Chairman of the Kenya Professional Boxing Commission, Reuben Ndolo urged Kenya to support the upcoming boxers.

He noted that several bouts are lined up in the months of April and May where the WBC female super-bantamweight title holder Fatuma Zarika and Rayton Okwiri, the African Boxing Union middleweight title champion will take part.

He further noted that is high time that the government take boxing seriously the same way the ball games are supported.

“Boxing needs to be taken seriously the same way football, volleyball, tennis, and swimming are taken all the way from primary to university. Their talents are supported from a young age," said Ndolo.