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Boxers now shift focus to Olympics

 Shaffi Bakri of Police (in blue) trade punches with Robert Gachuhi of Nairobi in a quarterfinal featherweight bout during the third leg of national Boxing League at Madison Square Garden in Nakuru on Nov 16,2023.Shaffi won 3-0.[Ben Ahenda]

As the national boxing league comes to an end in Kisumu next week, pugilists hope those who excelled in the league championships will be picked for the two legs of World Olympic Qualifiers.

At the start of the league, national head coach Musa Benjamin advised boxers to take the league matches seriously as they would be used to select those to don national team colours for the two qualifiers.

At the end of the fourth leg of the league championships in Nanyuki over the weekend, a number of boxers were confident of being selected into one of the two teams.

“We have done our best in all the legs of the league championships and it’s my belief, the technical bench has seen what we did now and last time,” said flyweight Kevin Maina who boxes for Kenya Defence Forces.

Maina who is one of the best flyweight boxers said he had given a good account of himself in Nanyuki and in the previous legs of the league said he was optimistic the national technical bench was impressed by his boxing skills.

Maina defeated Paul Omondi of Nairobi in the flyweight finals in Nanyuki.

A total of over 15 teams presented boxers in the four legs of the league championships.

Also sure to be selected was Africa Zone Three bantamweight gold medallist Shaffi Bakari who has since shifted to featherweight.

Bakari who was in the squad that took part in the Africa Olympic Qualifiers in Dakar, Senegal said he had given his best.

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