Friday, 19 December 2008

Professional Boxing in Kenya : Field day for quacks

This weekend, Kenyans will hope to be treated to another round of what we may call professional boxing in Kenya. We will host a number of key bouts with the most anticipated being Kenya's Fatima Zarika vs Puerto Rican US-based Belinda ‘Brown Sugar’ Laracuente and the other,Raymond Ochieng vs Douglas Chilembe of Zambia. These fights are being promoted by Caleb Kuya of Osaga Promotions. All good thus far.

Far left, Belinda Laracuente who's to face Fatima Zarika 2nd from the right. Photo courtesy of Nation Media Group's Dennis Okeyo

The worrying thing is that most of the recent professional fights have been total mismatches and a couple of boxers have faced serious injuries and even survived brain damage.
I don't like using this reference but Kenya's most succesful boxer thus far who decided to get into professional circles, the late Robert Wangila Napunyi suffered similar characteristics when he was forced to go into a fight without a prerequisite medical check-up and paid a heavy price for the same.
The promoters have also voiced the same concern saying there are a number of quacks in the game who's only wish is to make money from the fights.
With the sport likely to suffer serious credibility issues, the promoters better put their houses in order. The sponsors have shied away from the weekend's matches and it's not out of malice but who would want to be associated with such 'bloodthirsty' promoters.
It's said the Kenya Professional Boxing Commission KPBC-has sanctioned the fights. I surely do hope the fighters live to see another day.
Title Fights:
Fatuma Zarika (Kenya) v Belinda Laracuente(USA)-GBU, WIBF featherweight title (10 rounds).
Nasser Athumani (Kenya) v Kompa Koroma (USA)-GBU lightweight title;
Raymond Ochieng (Kenya) v Douglas Chilembe (Zambia)- GBU Cruiserweight title;
Judy Waguthi (Kenya) v Hellen Joep (Nigeria)-GBU featherweight title;
Morris Chule (Kenya) v Daniel Tetteh (Ghana)-GBU Continental title.

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