National middleweight champion Elizabeth ‘Jaber’ Akinyi has joined paid ranks.
Akinyi, who missed to take part in the World Women Boxing Championships in India in April and is not part of the team that will feature in Africa Olympic Qualifiers, confirmed yesterday that she has turned professional.
“A time comes when one has to make a decision that turns her round her profession and it was my time to do so and cross over to professional boxing,” Akinyi who is also the Africa Zone Three middleweight silver medallist told Standard Sports.
Akinyi has been a national team member for the past decade and her decision to cross to the paid ranks comes at a time Commonwealth super lightweight champion Sarah Achieng’ recently won a world title.
Achieng’ is the new World Boxing Foundation (WBF) super lightweight champion after outpointing former World Boxing Council super-bantamweight champion Matthysse Edith Soledad of Argentina in a 10-round fight at Charter Hall in Nairobi on June 10.
Her first fight will be against Lucy Macho in one of the curtain-raiser bouts of the match pitting former Africa Boxing Union super middleweight champion Rayton ‘Boom Boom’ Okwiri against Chikonde Makawa of Malawi in a World Alliance Boxing Association (WABA) – Africa super middleweight title-fight at Nyayo Stadium on Saturday.
On Tuesday, Akinyi said she was ready for the fight and was comfortable in her new status.
“I’m ready for my first fight against Macho and I will take it like any other fight. I want to start my new profession on a winning note,” she said.
Meanwhile, the National Boxing League has been postponed indefinitely.
Boxing Federation of Kenya (BFK) competitions Secretary John Waweru said the decision was reached to allow players to feature for the national team in this weekend's Africa Olympic Qualifiers in Dakar, Senegal.
"We have been forced to postpone the league championships until all boxers arrive home from Senegal where they will be taking part in the Africa Olympic Qualifiers,” said Waweru.
The league was to box-off on September 14-16 in Vihiga.