OKWIRI SETS BAR HIGH

Okwiri eyes world title to announce his arrival in pro boxing

Okwiri said his current fights are geared towards preparing him for his ultimate ambition.

In Summary

•The reigning African Boxing Union middleweight champion will be back in the ring on November 30 when he takes on a Zimbabwean pugilist.

•Okwiri was one of the two Kenyans recruited to the Amateur Professional Boxing (APB) ranks, an experience he says made his transition easier.

Rayton Okwiri during a recent Bout at KICC.
Rayton Okwiri during a recent Bout at KICC.
Image: ERICK BARASA

Boxer Rayton Okwiri has set himself a target of a world title fight by next year.

The middleweight fighter, who turned pro recently, revealed that all his current fights are geared towards preparing him for his ultimate ambition.

“When I turned professional, my objective was to fight for world titles. I have come through some difficult bouts and I am pretty confident that next year, I will be ready to challenge for a championship belt,” said Okwiri.

The reigning African Boxing Union middleweight champion will be back in the ring on November 30 when he takes on a Zimbabwean pugilist. Since turning pro, Okwiri has fought six times—winning five bouts and settling for a draw once.

“I feel good physically. I have trained well since my last outing and I can’t wait to show that in the ring at the end of November,” added the Kenya Prisons boxer.

Okwiri is set to defend his ABU title, a fight he reckons will announce him at the world stage as a full-time professional fighter after ditching the amateur ranks.

“This title defence will come at a good time for me in my pro career. I have to win the fight because I know it will open a lot of doors for me for more lucrative fights,” he said.

Okwiri was one of the two Kenyans recruited to the Amateur Professional Boxing (APB) ranks, an experience he says made his transition easier. The boxer remains concerned with the plight of pro boxers who toil but are eventually swindled by rogue promoters.

“It’s something I have heard in the past but I have not experienced it. Furthermore, I am gainfully employed and such a situation may not affect me. I however, believe that the boxing bodies have put in place regulations to be met before a fight is sanctioned,” explained Okwiri.

The Olympian believes the stage is set for the current crop of amateur fighters to stand out and be counted at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.