Kenya: Rayton Okwiri Lands Sponshorship, to Fight for WBO Title in August

Africa Boxing Union (ABU) middleweight champion Rayton "Boom Boom" Okwiri will take a shot at the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) International middleweight title in August in Nairobi.

Okwiri's title bout will be the main event in a boxing promotion organised by international betting company 22Bet.

Former world boxing heavyweight champion Mike "Iron Mike" Tyson will feature in an exhibition bout.

Making the announcement yesterday, 22 Bet chief executive officer Sam Malonza indicated that Tyson will visit Kenya on his way from Rwanda, which is part of the retired boxer's corporate social responsibility tour in Africa.

Malonza was speaking on Friday after presenting a sponsorship cheque of Sh350,000 to Okwiri to help the boxer prepare for the 22Bet promotion.

Malonza said the sponsorship will help Okwiri prepare for the bout in Florida, where he will also feature in a non-title bout ahead of the WBO contest.

"Tyson will feature in the exhibition bout that will be part of his CSR plan. It is a done deal. Victory for Okwiri will also put him in line for the WBO world title," said Malonza, adding that the exact dates for the extravagance will be announced in due course.

Malonza, who was accompanied by Kenya Professional Boxing Commission (KPBC) president Reuben Ndolo and KPBC secretary general Frankline Imbenzi, said he is ready to partner with the professional boxing body to stage more fights in Kenya.

"We have major plans for not only boxing but other sports disciplines. We are also involved in football where we have given equipment to 500 teams across the country," said Malonza.

Okwiri, 35, said he will be leaving the country next week to Florida where he will train under Ray Nello Promotions.

"I never stopped training even when the sporting activities were halted in March last year owing to Covid-19," said Okwiri, who had returned to amateurs ranks to try and qualify for the Tokyo Olympic qualification.

Okwiri failed to qualify from the Africa Boxing qualifying tournament held February 2020.

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