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SPORTS

Okwiri set for second professional bout

BOXING By ERICK OCHIENG' | February 8th 2017
Kenya’s golden boy, welter-weight Rayton Okwiri of Kenya Prisons Boxing Club during their last spuring in preparation for the International Boxing Association, IBA, pro-boxing at Pamwani Social Hall in Nairobi on Thursday, January 15th, Photo/Jonah Onyango.,

Olympian and Kenya Prison boxer Rayton Okwiri says he has been greatly inspired by his emphatic win on his professional boxing debut in Nairobi at the weekend.

He said the technical knockout win against Salehe Mkalekwa of Tanzania at the Fox Sports boxing contest has inspired him to look forward for his next fight with earnest.

Okwiri’s next fight will now be in Botswana next month courtesy of his sponsors Fox Sports who he has signed a contract with. Fox Sports will name the opponent in due course.

“I can’t wait for this fight. I am already in training,” said an elated Okwiri who believes his turning professional was timely as it has opened for him a window to gun for continental and global belts.

Even though he is a title fight material, Okwiri says he will go slowly on any belt until he is properly grounded in the professional boxing career path he has taken.

“I intend to do eight non title fights before I talk with my sponsors on any possibility of a title fight, once my records are impressive I will be rearing to go,” he said.

The contract signed with Fox Sports grants Okwiri five high profile international bouts per year. He has already taken part in the first fight for 2017 season and his second one will be in Botswana in March while the remaining three will be in Kenya(May),South Africa (July)and United Kingdom(September).

While explaining why he is not resting on his laurels, Okwiri says professional boxing is tough and so the need to keep fit and improve his skills and techniques daily as he is on the road to slug it off with some of the world’s finest boxers.

“I do a lot of training daily. From early morning run to sparring and gym work. I also work on my diet to give me energy and stamina,” he said.

He added: “I immediately knew this new path is heavy and laden with challenges when I signed this contract. But I am glad that I did that since it has pushed me to be better in the game. I also do high level of training to help me match up with international standards in this sport.”

Apart from Okwiri, the other Kenyan pugilist who will be looking for glory in Botswana, South Africa and United Kingdom is Dennis ‘Bilabong’ Okoth.

Okoth also made a successful debut when he knocked out Shadrack Ignas of Tanzania in the fifth round of the six-round lightweight contest at the weekend.

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