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The National Boxing League set to box-off this season

BOXING By Ben Ahenda | January 4th 2022 | 3 min read
Anthony Kariuki (in red) of Mombasa ABC trade punches with Said Bangwan (in blue) of Kongowea ABC in their light weight category semi final bout during the Boxing Association of Kenya National Boxing Open/Trial championship at the Jomo Kenyatta Public Beach, April 27, 2019. [PHOTO BY GIDEON MAUNDU/STANDARD].

For the first time in two years, the National Boxing League resumes and teams are asked to prepare for a busy and tight schedule in national and international championships this year.

The first leg of the league championships is set for Kitale on September 1-3 with the second leg in Meru on October 6-8 while third leg to take place in Nanyuki from October 27-29 ahead of the fourth and final legs in Mombasa and Kisumu on November 17-19 and December 10-12 respectively.

This time round, the league championships commence in September as opposed to its traditional month of March owing to a tight schedule in international calendar of events that includes participation in continental and global championships whose dates are fixed between February to August this year.

Kenya is expected to send a full team of 13 boxers to six different international assignments this season before the league championships.

They are Africa Zone Three Championships in Tanzania in March, Africa Boxing Championships in Tunisia in March/April, World Women Boxing Championships in Istanbul, Turkey from May 6-21, Global Boxing Cup in Russia in April/May, International Boxing Cup at a venue to be named later in June and Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England from July 28 to August 8.

Boxing Federation of Kenya Secretary General David Munuhe said their seriousness to participate in the six international assignments forced them to push the league championships to the final quarter of the year.

“We have a tough and tight program in international championships set for the first two quarters of the year, which has forced us to fix our league championships towards the end of the year,” Munuhe told Standard Sports.

Munuhe said they are committed only to have players whose fitness levels are not doubtful and are the ones who could be easily be selected into the final squads for these competitions.

“Fitness counts first in our selection criteria but players must have also performed well or picked positive results at the two selections trials held in Nairobi and Kisumu at the end of last year,” Munuhe stated.

Asked why there was a change in dates and venues of some international championships at the eleventh hour, he said the postponement and cancellation of such championships is beyond their mandate.

“As affiliates of Confederation of African Boxing(CAB) and International Boxing Association(IBA), we have to abide by their statutes and follow their directions,” said Munuhe who is also the deputy head coach of the National Boxing Team.

Besides the aforementioned international assignments, Kenya will also send teams for the Africa Zone Three Under 22 Boxing Championships set for Burundi in September and World Youth Championships to be held in La Nucia, Spain in November.

The BFK boss said they are still keen on the National Youth Programs (NYP) in their calendar of events and it was the reason it commence with National Novices and International Championships slated for Nairobi and Thika on February 16-19 and March 3-5 respectively.

He called on all coaches to ensure all their players start training for the season.

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