• Abuti downplayed the deep cut that the Cameroonian inflicted on his forehead, saying it was nothing serious to keep him out of the ring.
• Light heavyweight Robert Okaka has also exuded confidence ahead of the semis. Okaka beat homeboy Fotouo Totap Junior to advance.
Hit Squad heavyweight pugilist Peter Abuti has vowed to storm the gold medal and punch a 2024 Paris Olympic ticket at the ongoing African Boxing Championships in Yaounde, Cameroon.
Abuti made the remarks after thumping Cameroonian Tsoni Icha Baltazard to romp to the semifinals of the annual continental boxing showpiece.
He lavished praise on his tutors for passing down the expertise that fired him to victory.
"I thank God I fought a good battle. The weather was lovely and I felt composed in the ring," Abuti remarked.
"I thank the coaches so much for giving me such a magnificent platform. The tournament is a good boost to my fledgling career. It has given me the desired exposure," he added.
He said he was utterly amazed by his performance this being his maiden international appearance. "This is the first time I'm fighting on the international stage and I'm happy I have advanced to the semifinals. I will keep the momentum going and try my best to bring home a medal."
Abuti downplayed the deep cut that the Cameroonian inflicted on his forehead, saying it was nothing serious to keep him out of the ring.
"My opponent gave me a headbutt that tore my skin as we closed in with punches. That's how I got injured and my forehead had to be bandaged. I suffered a deep cut and the doctors had suggested stitching but decided to put the idea off after consulting with the coaches who thought I should be left to complete the tournament first."
Light heavyweight Robert Okaka has also exuded confidence ahead of the semis. Okaka beat homeboy Fotouo Totap Junior to advance.
"I feel so happy I won my bout and proceeded to the next round. I'd like to appreciate our coaches for honing our skills well enough for this tournament. The good results are a clear manifestation of the hard work all of us put into practice," Okaka said.
"I want to clinch the gold and I believe I will proceed to the finals and win. I know I can," he added.
Okaka admitted his opponent had initially posed a tactical challenge given the stark contrast in their heights. "I was fighting a relatively shorter opponent and as such decided to use my towering height to my advantage by maintaining a longer distance and throwing punches from long range."
"I was sure I would thump my opponent. I wasn't scared of him because I know I'm strong and I have a strong sense of self-belief," Okaka pointed out.
Five members of the Kenyan contingent have now made it through to the semifinals that will be held on Thursday. They are Amina Martha, Christine Ongare, Robert Okaka, Peter Abuti, and Liz Andiego.