Kenya Defence Forces Amateur Boxing Association (DEFABA) team are set to make a comeback to the third leg of the Boxing Federation of Kenya (BFK) national league for the first time this season.
The soldiers, who have been participating in a parallel league, are back in top-flight action and hope to ‘topple’ their perennial rivals Kenya Police also known as ‘Chafua Chafua’ in what is anticipated to be a battle royale at sea level. The league, which has been to Nakuru and Busia returns to the famous ‘Uwanja wa Mbuzi’ venue in Mombasa from tomorrow (Thursday) through to Saturday.
Preliminary fights will start tomorrow, preceding the semis on Friday and finals on Saturday. This week’s action should definitely offer fans some exhilarating displays of boxing artistry. There has been some good-humoured rivalry with boxing fans bantering over the much-anticipated KDF vs Police rivalry. Over 15 counties and clubs including hosts Coast will be chasing crucial league points.
The event promises to be a thriller considering boxers have been locked up in month-long heavy training. Among the boxers to watch will be Police international Shaffi Bakari who is overly excited to be back home. Bakari, who has since moved a berth up to the flyweight division ostensibly to stay in touch with the new Olympic format of eight divisions, hopes to kill two birds with one stone.
For one, the Police officer will be looking to cement his slot in the All Africa Games provisional squad as well as prove his mettle against the likes of David Karanja of Nairobi, Muthama of KDF and homeboy Kombo Mwinyi.
The bantamweight class will be equally explosive with Police’s Martin Oduor renewing rivalry with Isaac Meja of KDF after a long period. One of the weight divisions that should form the highlight of the third leg is the ever explosive light heavyweight class where Nairobian Joseph Onyango, Policeman Humphrey Ochieng aka ‘Jakababa’ and Hezron Maganga of KDF will be the usual suspects. Elly Ajowi (Police) and Fredrick Onyango of KDF are the men to watch in the heavyweight division.
“Standards have been set and only the sky’s the limit in Mombasa. The soldiers are armed to the teeth to do battle with their arch-rivals Police who are equally loaded. It’s going be war also with women’s boxing taking shape. What’s more, Mombasa show will enable us to monitor Morocco All Africa Games probables in action, so thrills and spills are guaranteed,” said newly elected BFK President Anthony Ombok Otieno (Jamal).
on Monday, Jamal hosted all Mombasa bound teams (including KDF) to a workout at Nyayo Stadium’s TKO Gym after which he hosted them to a luncheon.
For the first time, Veronica Mbithe who has since joined the defence forces will face stiff opposition in the ladies category.
Elizabeth Andiego, Kenya’s female Olympics pioneer, Christine Ongare and Lorna Kusa will also be at it. Ongare of Police will renew her rivalry with Flavian Auma of Busia while Kusa also turning out for Police will square it out with Evelyne Akinyi of Kisumu. Meanwhile. Police have named a final team of eight men for the third leg league.
Standings after Round 2 (Busia)
Police 47 points