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Pugilists To Slug It Off For 12 Available Commonwealth Slots

KDF's Nick Abaka (red) lands a punch on Elly Ajowi of Police during the duo's fight in the final of the SNBL 3rd leg in Thika. PHOTO/Dan Ngulu
KDF's Nick Abaka (red) lands a punch on Elly Ajowi of Police during the duo's fight in the final of the SNBL 3rd leg in Thika. PHOTO/Dan Ngulu
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NAIROBI, Kenya-Kenya’s qualifications for the 2018 Commonwealth Games to be held in Gold Coast, Australia on April 4-15 begins in Nairobi on Friday.

Boxing Association of Kenya(BAK) will be the first federation to conduct its qualifiers for the Club Games at the historic Kaloleni Social Hall.

The anticipated cutthroat contests have attracted 46 pugilists who will compete for the 12 available slots extended to BAK by the National Olympics Committee of Kenya(NOCK).

“NOCK has granted us eight slots for men and four for women, competition is already stiffer due to the limited number of boxers needed to join Team Kenya for the Games,”BAK President, John Kameta, told SportPesa News.

“We have considered only players who took part in the league. We chose top four finishers in each category for the contests.

“Winners in the qualifiers dubbed the Grand Finale will not only qualify for Australia but will also be declared national champions in their weights,” Kameta reiterated.

Qualified boxers will be accompanied by sparring partners to the residential camp set to be announced by NOCK in the coming weeks.

All the boxers had a safe arrival in Nairobi on Thursday and Kameta assured BAK will take care of their accommodation to give them time to focus on the competition.

Some of the notable players who will step into the ring to look for honours on Friday are Olympian and Bantamweight sensation, Benson Gicharu, former Aiba Pro-Boxer Nick Abaka and Africa Lightweight champion, Nick Okoth.

“I am not yet done with Olympics and World championships. Qualifying for Commonwealth Games this weekend will be an assurance that my dreams for the two are still on course,” said Gicharu.

African champion

On fire Okoth will be the force to reckoned with in the Lightweight category that has other hard hitters including Ethan Maina (Police), Anthony Ngugi (Prisons) and John Mwanzia (Githurai/Soweto).

“Winning gold in Brazzaville, Congo in June last year gave me confidence, this self-assurance is what propelled me to win all my league matches in 2017, it is the same confidence that I am headed with in the qualifiers tomorrow,” Okoth said at his training base in Jamhuri on Thursday.

“I won bronze in Delhi, India in 2010, this time round I am going for nothing short of gold in Australia. This has been inspired by the continental title I won in Congo,” said Okoth.

Okoth said the desire to keep his winning spree saw him step up his training schedule during the December festivities.

“I did lots of road work, dumbbells and sparrings,i’m feeling very fit. I can smell victory on air,” Okoth added.

Selected Categories For Commonwealth Games Trial At Kaloleni Social Hall

Light fly (49kgs)

  1. Shaffi Bakari (Police)
  2. Mataye Keya (KNH)
  3. Harrison Mathuku (Prison)
  4. Kevin Muchira (KDF)

Flyweight (52kgs)

  1. Brian Agina (Coast)
  2. Simon Mulinge (KDF)
  3. Dennis Muthama (Nairobi)
  4. Morris Ochieng (Police)

Bantamweight (56kgs)

  1. Benson Gicharu (Police)
  2. Isaac Meja (KDF)
  3. Simon Kinuthia (OKSA)
  4. Hamza Said (Kongowea)

Lightweight (60kgs)

  1. Nick Okoth (KDF)
  2. Ethan Maina (Police)
  3. Anthiny Ngugi (Prisons)
  4. John Mwanzia (Githurai/Soweto)

Light welterweight (64kgs)

1.Victor Odhiambo(KDF)

2.Joseph Shigali(Police)

3.Anthony Achebi(Nairobi)

4.Anthony Maina(Prison)

Welterweight 69kgs

  1. Boniface Mogunde (Police)
  2. Blackmoses Mathenge (KDF)
  3. Jacob Kimathi (Prison)
  4. Lucky Nyiro(Coast

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