The Star (Nairobi)

29 December 2012

Kenya: Gicharu Aims High

Flyweight boxer sets sights on World Series of Boxing after missing out this year

Olympics boxer Benson Gicharu has set his sights on competing in the World Series of Boxing(WSB) in the new year after missing out on last years series despite having been included in the preliminary draft.

The flyweight pugilist revealed he had been given a contract by the series organisers but was inexplicably not called up to take up a fight.

"I am determined to participate in next year's year's world series. I had been given a contract to sign but they never came back to me for reasons I did not understand but I will jump at another opportunity to take part in the series,"said Gicharu a silver medallist at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in 2010.

Worlds series of boxing is an international competition for amateur boxers, organised by the international amateur boxing association (Aiba).

Unlike traditional amateur boxing, competitors in the World Series must be bare-chested and are not permitted to wear protective headgear.

Each boxer is drafted by one of a number of international franchises and can earn money by taking part in professional-style bouts. However, they maintain their amateur status and remain eligible to compete at the Olympic Games.

Gicharu who fights from the Kenya Police in the Amateur Boxing Association of Kenya league said he is set to resume his personal training in a fortnight after enjoying time out with family following the exertions at the Olympics in London in July where he lost in the first round bout to Egyptian Hesham Abdelaal.

"I am currently on vacation but I will resume my personal training in mid January to get set for the new boxing season,"said the diminutive boxer who has carried the Kenyan amateur boxing flag high in the last two years in a period where the local fighting scene has suddenly gone quiet in the ring.

Gicharu ruled out the possibility of joining the professional ranks soon saying he was concentrating not only on his amateur career but also on his full time job as a police officer.

"I am not thinking about turning pro at the moment. My hands are currently full. I have a job to maintain and a family to take care of. I will just try and concentrate on participating in the world series as well as representing the country,"he said

Kenyan amateur boxers have found it tough shifting into the paid ranks.

The ring death of the first African to win a gold medal at the 1988 Seoul, Korea, Olympics, Robert Wangila, after a few professional bouts continues to haunt many Kenya amateurs

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