Emmanuel Mbuka and Timothy Owosi are the winners of the Charles Opong’ Buchere boxing tournament which was held on Tuesday 2nd at Emulunya Primary School, Kisa East ward, Kwhisero division in Kakamega County.
The fifth edition of this boxing tournament that is meant to commemorate the late Charkes Derrick Buchere, a former footballer from the area, has the main purpose of uniting young men and women in the name of sports. The Boxing bouts were between a team from Kakamega town and Kisa East.
“This tournament brought together all football and boxing teams in Khwisero constituency.
“Our former Champions are engaged in promoting boxing in the rural area and also the sponsor intends to keep upcoming talents busy in this festive season,” said sports journalist and tournament organizer Elphas Akhonya Ambundo who also added that they were still expecting more young men and women to start engaging into boxing as a sport.
Emanuel Mbuka proved a hard nut to crack for the more experienced William Kiplagat. Kiplagat threw more punches, but the home boy Mbuka was evasive and had more counter punches hitting target. Mbuka won the much coveted bout on points to carry the day.
The other bout also proved to be more intense as Sibirok Owiso took on Timothy Owosi amidst the cheers from hundreds of the supporters that were present. Owosi narrowly won on points, but the disappointed Owiso also proved his worth on the bare ground ring that had only sisal ropes and a stool on each corner to make it look like a real boxing match.
The bouts were run under the guidance of former world renowned champions including Joseph Akhasamba who won the World Boxing Board (WBB) heavyweight title in 2000, Charles Owiso who represented Kenya in the 1984 Olympics held in Los Angeles USA and Patrick Kusimba formely of Kenya Prisons.
“The situation here is pathetic. We cannot afford even a ring, our boxers barely have gloves among many other training facilities.
We only depend on well-wishers here to make the sport running. During our days we had corporates forming teams, so it was easy to develop as a boxer once you get spotted. But not in this modern day especially in rural areas, we therefore need the government to step in,” an angry Joseph Akhasamba retorted.
The former 1990 Auckland commonwealth games gold medalist also added that, if the government will not invest in sports, then we cannot blame society for vices.
Main sponsor Kennedy Buchere also emphasized on the need for the government to invest in sports. “We have raw talent in rural areas that can be tapped, but the problem still remains to be poverty. If we can have finances from the government pumped into infrastructure, then I believe we will have more responsible citizens and a great future because we will be able to shape our own destinies,” Buchere finalized by also mentioning that many of the once famous former boxers are languishing in poverty.
The annual boxing tournament attracted former champions and local heroes such as Joseph Akhasamba, Charles Owiso, Patrick Kusimba and Ken Ambundo who was a Kenya Police Boxer and a spurring partner to Kenneth Valdez Ochieng in the early nineties.
With such great efforts to grow and develop boxing from the grassroots level, it is with great hope that the Kenyan government and the federations involved will heed the cries of the people of Kwhisero. It will be great joy if surely their tears will one day be wiped as the upcoming stars seek to emulate their local heroes now languishing in poverty instead of enjoying their old age.