The three-man Kenya amateur boxing team to the 2017 AIBA World Boxing Championship landed in Hamburg Germany on Monday bubbling with confidence.
Captain Nick Okoth and head coach George Munuhe exuded confidence that the boys will perform well but hopes the official draw to be conducted at the Town Hall in Hamburg tomorrow, will favour them.
“Since the system of continental qualification was introduced there are no more easy matches. All boxers made it at continental level and so we expect very tough preliminary matches. But sometimes the draws can be tricky especially when paired with an Olympic or world champion so it’s wait and see kind of situation,” said Okoth.
He adding: “But going by what we saw in the Congo, Brazzaville qualifiers and the team training in Nairobi, we feel confident and ready to take on the rest of the world.”
Okoth returns to the global arena for the second time while middleweight John Kyalo and light flyweight Shaffi Bakari who are young upcoming boxers, will be making their debut at senior level.
Kyalo lost in preliminary round of the World Youth Championship in Romania 2012 while Shaffi is a member of the team which participated in the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Championship in the Isle of Man.
“We landed here safely and have since enjoyed the good summer weather and training facilities and it’s all good,” said Munuhe who is being assisted by AIBA star three coach Mike Musine from Mombasa.
The 2017 edition of the AIBA World Championships will start on August 25, featuring 280 best boxers. The Hamburg 2017 extravaganza will no doubt be one of the biggest sporting events of the summer.
Preliminary round starts Saturday through to Monday, paving way for quarter finals on August 29. August 30 will be a rest day with semi-finals starting on August 31 to September 1. Finals will be held on September 2.
After a challenging qualification path via the five Continental Championships, only the very best boxers, including 18 Rio 2016 Olympic medalists, made slots to the global extravaganza.
Speaking from Hamburg, Munuhe said they are proud to be associated with an event which has previously featured legendary names such as Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Wladimir Klitschko and Teofilo Stevenson who began and shaped their careers with AIBA. Only 10 gold medals will be at stake in respective weight classes.
Only one Kenyan Steve Muchoki has won a gold at the prestigious championships in the late 70s.