Okwiri star attraction in WBC, ABU bouts on Friday

By Standard Sports: Thursday, April 19th 2018 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Boxing
Raymond Okwiri before in a past match. [Photo: Standard]

Olympian and former AIBA Pro-boxer Raymond ‘Boom! Boom! Okwiri will be among the key fighters in the high profile bouts that have been lined-up by World Boxing Council (WBC) and African Boxing Union at the Charter Hall in Nairobi on Friday.

The former Kenya Prisons pugilist will take on Ugandan and former International Boxing Federation champion Kassim Ouma in a six-round non-title middleweight fight dubbed Crossing Borders.

Elated Okwiri posted on his Facebook page on Tuesday that he had already left his base in Washington, US, to Nairobi for the contest that he was eager to win. “Never lose hope in whatever you are doing. God is in control. It has been a long journey for me since I started my boxing career,” Okwiri said of the challenge. This will be Okwiri’s fourth match since he turned professional on April 4, 2017. He boasts of two wins and a draw so far.

Unlike Okwiri, experienced Ouma, who joined the paid ranks on July 10, 1998, has had several titles under his wrap, including his current World Boxing Association cum North American Boxing Association middleweight belt. He has fought in 41 bouts earning 29 wins (18 KOs), 11 losses and a draw.

The battle pitting Okwiri and Ouma will act as a curtain raiser for the main fight-card of the night pitting Andre Vanavales (Egypt) against Saleh Nkembili (Tanzania).

The Egyptian and the Tanzanian will square it off in a 12 -round African Boxing Union (ABU) Welterweight title fight. The competitions will be a culmination of a two-day seminar that starts on Thursday and will be conducted by WBC and ABU at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre.

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The workshop will involve training of 100 ringside officials from Africa on the new rules of the game, judging, refereeing, issuing of points among other aspects of the discipline. The trainees will, however, only get the power to officiate in the world boxing championships and other related global boxing events upon passing exams on Friday.