Commonwealth super lightweight champion Sarah Achieng’s trip to the United States of America for the Women International Boxing Federation (WIFB) super lightweight (63.5kg) title fight against Ikram Kerwat of Germany hangs in the balance.
The fight was scheduled for Cleveland in Ohio on Saturday (June 11) but all that is now water under the bridge.
A disappointed and dejected Achieng’ said she failed to secure a visa in good time and therefore her chances of being the second Kenyan female boxer to win a world title after former World Boxing Council super-bantamweight champion Fatuma Zarika have been dealt a big blow.
“It is tough for me after rigorous training for the last twelve weeks and after having sacrificed my time and resources to prepare for the fight only to be let down by visa technicalities,” a frustrated Achieng’ told Standard Sports.
She was ready to add a fifth title to her fold, seven months after she defeated Anisha Basheel of Malawi in Nairobi on October 20, 2021 in a 10 round fight to win the Commonwealth super lightweight title.
Besides the Commonwealth lightweight title, she’s the national professional lightweight champion, East and Central Africa featherweight (57kg) champion and Universal Boxing Organization (UBO) super lightweight champion.
She was to have flown to the US yesterday.
Last month, Achieng’ told this writer that her promoters were working round the clock to ensure she gets a visa in good time saying that that was all that was delaying her flight to the US.
She said her US based promoter had earlier written to the US Embassy in Nairobi to assist her on the matter but it all hit the wall.
She was to be accompanied by her longtime coach and trainer Alfred ‘Priest’ Analo alongside an aide after the fight had been sanctioned by Kenya Professional Boxing Commission (KPBC).
Analo’s two mobile lines were all switched off yesterday as we tried to get his comments on the pugilist’s aborted trip to the US.
Efforts to get the comments of KPBC officials were unfruitful as our calls to Assistant Secretary General Joseph Odhiambo’s mobile line went unanswered.
When we reached Kenya Professional Boxing Commission chairman Rueben Ndolo who was in a meeting said he was not aware about the problem but promised to address it later.
“Right now, I’m in a meeting but please call me later so that I try to find out what exactly happened,” said Ndolo.
Achieng has had 16 professional fights with seven knockouts, seven wins on points and two loses.