Thailand Boxing Club won't let their guards down

Kibra’s Abubakar Hakeen fight Thailand’s Douglas Muya in heavyweight bout during the Nairobi County Boxing Second Leg held at the Truth Club, Nairobi. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

For Githurai 45’s Thailand Boxing team, they don’t have a specific game plan.

Their only plan is to win. If it were left for them, the six boxers, who are preparing for the Nairobi County Boxing Open on Saturday, would wish to make the team that will represent the region at the Kenya Open contest, on April 3-6.

They, just like their rivals in the region, have been toiling. Their training regimen has been energy-sapping. Little time to rest. Early morning road runs, daily gym sessions punctuated with bites here and there, as well as litres of fluids, have been part of their daily programme.

There has been little room for intermittent fasting really. Sparring against one another, or at times, against their coaches John ‘Chea’ Ochieng and Timothy ‘Uche’ Oketch, the boxers want to remain brave in times of fear.

They want to conquer that fear. And the time to do just that is now.

“We are ready for the championships. I know that our rivals are also preparing just as much as we are,” said 20-year-old Ryan Nuer.

“I won in the previous Nairobi Open and I am confident of doing it again,” added the Thailand Boxing Club pugilist.

CKibra’s Jared Oyugi (left) and Clenstone Agade from Jericho in their light heavy weight fight during the Nairobi County Boxing Second Leg held at the Truth Club. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]aption

Probably, the one who stabbed forgets, but the one who got stabbed, never forgets.

People around coach Ochieng have different loyalty. Some even want him to fail. At times, some of his star players expect to be treated with kid-gloves. A little pampering to a few would be a welcome gesture too. But the no-nonsense tactician remains engrossed in what he needs to do.

Anyone keen on seeing the players have distinguishable careers remains a constant pressure. They demand for the results at every instance. They want quick fix.

“Everyone wants to see teams excel in the championships. This is not any different. We have a good team and I know other clubs have equally good players. Boxers from Jericho, Mukuru For Life, Kibra and others, are quite talented,” said Thailand Boxing Club’s head coach John Ochieng, who is also the Nairobi Region coach.

“As a region, we’ve been performing quite well in previous tournaments. For instance, we were third after Police and Kenya Defence Forces in the national boxing league. The more established players should expect stiff challenge from upcoming players,” he added.

Other players representing Thailand are John Mburugu (minimum), Isaac Waweru (flyweight), Ian Mbugua (Bantam), Ryan Nuer (Featherweight), Robert Wambugu (Lighweight) and Mohamed Nyagah (lightwelter).

Githurai Thailand Boxing Club coach John Ochieng (right) awards upcoming boxer Richard Ngei with a certificate of merit. [Courtesy]

It has not been a smooth ride, however, for the Nairobi team. Theirs has been a struggle. Uncertainty has been their cup of tea. Not sure of their next move. “Finances have been hard to come by. Our new regional chairman Brian ‘Brayo’ Mutiga has been quite helpful. He would chip in whenever we were stuck. We hope for the best in our next plans,” said Ochieng.

“We aim at having a successful event then thereafter, have our fundraising. It has been tough on the boxers, but we hope for the best,” said Nairobi County boxing chairman, Peter Brian Mutiga.
“We want to change the course of boxing in Nairobi. For the next three years, we want to bring change.”

Over 20 teams will bring their ‘A’ game to the championships that will be held on Saturday at Charter Hall, from 1pm.

An entrance ticket to the VIP section is Sh500, children in that area will pay Sh250, while regular seats are Sh100 each.

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