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Champ Okwiri throws down the gauntlet

Wednesday December 11 2019
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Africa Boxing Union Title holder Rayton "Boom Boom" Okwiri trains at Kaloleni Social Hall on December 11, 2019. Okwiri will be putting his Africa Boxing Union (ABU) title on line against Augustine Matata of Democratic Republic of Congo on December 14, 2019 at Nairobi Charter Hall. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By AYUMBA AYODI

Kenya's Rayton ‘Boom Boom’ Okwiri is ready to defend his Africa Boxing Union (ABU) middleweight title on Saturday starting 6pm at Charter Hall, Nairobi.

The 33-year-old Okwiri said he has been working on his speed and footwork ahead of his title defence against Augustine Matata from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Both boxers are undefeated with the champion Okwiri enjoying five wins, which include four kayos (5-0-1) and a draw while Matata, who is based in Gauteng, South Africa, has seven wins including four kayos (7-0-0).

"I have been training for three months. I am in good shape. I would have fought in a non-title bout two weeks ago but the promoter wasn't serious and the fight was called off. I didn't break camp since I knew I had a title to defend,” said Okwiri.

Southpaw's Okwiri reckoned that Matata looks strong and powerful after watching his previous fights on video.

"We have a game plan for that and more so, I have good ring experience compared to him. Speed work and ring movement will do the trick," said Okwiri.

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"I am promising them a great show that will ensure the belt stays in Kenya," said Okwiri adding that he is a better boxer than he was when he won the title six months ago

Okwiri has been shuttling his training between Pal Pal Gymnasium, Pumwani and Kaloleni under trainers and former Kenyan internationals David ‘Computer’ Kiilu and Daniel Shisia. Also in his training camp are Edwin Ongoro and sparring partner Dek Ahmed.

Okwiri, a former Olympian, knocked out Tanzanian Hussein Itaba to claim the vacant ABU middleweight title on June 8 at Charter Hall.

Matata last fought South African Karabo Mokupi whom he knocked out on February 24 this year at Emperors Palace, Kempton Park, South Africa.

"Okwiri is in great shape and 90 per cent ready for the big day. His speed and footwork has greatly improved," said Kiilu, an ex-Commonwealth Boxing Council champion.

The Solid Rock Promotion extravaganza has a number of support non-title contests featuring national heavyweight champion Morris Okolla and super lightweight Nick Mwangi. Okolla, 37, (10-3-0) will take on Limbani Lano, 30, (6-6-1).

Tickets are retailing at Sh400 for regular, Sh1,000 for VIP and Sh100 for children.

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