NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 1 – Rayton Okwiri describes his loss
to Ugandan David Ssemujji at the African Olympic Qualifiers in Dakar, Senegal
as ‘daylight robbery’ and has now vowed to prove his worth at the world qualifiers
when new dates are announced after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Okwiri travelled to Dakar with high pedigree after giving up
his African Boxing Union middleweight belt to have a shot at his second
Olympics, but that dream was punched down by the Ugandan in a controversial
“I couldn’t believe when I saw his hand being lifted in the
ring. I was very sure that I had beaten him and gathered more points. But
unfortunately that’s how boxing is sometimes, you don’t get the decision you
deserve,” Okwiri told Capital Sport.
“I had prepared really well and was confident that I would
have a chance to go to the Olympics and that’s why I gave up by belt. With the
new AIBA rules, we are allowed to be Pro and try out at the Olympics as well
and that’s why I decided to go,” further added the Kenya Prisons officer,
nicknamed ‘Boom boom’ for his swift left-right combinations.
The world qualifiers were initially set for July, but they
have since been halted because of the health concerns posted by the new novel
coronavirus. A new date is expected soon.
As he waits for the announcement of the second round of
qualification for the Tokyo Games that will now be held in 2021, Okwiri says he
is keeping in shape though normal training has been made hard because of the
social distancing rules enforced by the government.
“At the moment training is not as smooth as everyone would
have wished but it is a situation that we cannot have control over it. But over
and above all I am trying to keep fit by doing lots of roadwork and body
workouts in the house. Once in a while I also try do some gym work,” Okwiri
He added; “I know I will be ready when they announce when
the qualifiers will be staged and I am really optimistic that I can make my
Okwiri reached the quarter finals in Rio 2016 and believes
he will be in a position to medal if he makes it for the Tokyo Games in 2021.
“It was very tough in 2016 and most of those I played
against and together with are now full professionals. I also believe I have
gathered enough experience by playing Pro for the last few years and I am a
better boxer now,” stated Okwiri.
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