The Kenya Professional Boxing Commission (KPBC) has formerly written to Boxing Federation of Kenya (BFK) over Rayton Okwiri’s decision to return to the Kenya boxing team ‘Hit Squad’.
Okwiri, who turned professional after his 2016 Rio Olympics debacle, was among a provisional team of 28 called up by the BFK to prepare for the forthcoming Dakar Olympic qualifiers.
In a two-page letter, the commission issued a number of conditions to the amateur body (BFK), underscoring the fact that ‘the latter must work closely with KPBC as a partner to produced desired results’.
The commission revealed that they will only give their blessing to Okwiri should BFK include a KPBC appointed professional coach in the team delegation to Dakar to oversee the progress of their boxer and handle any matters that are of professional nature.
“Until these conditions are fulfilled and confirmations of the same received by us, we will no defend Okwiri’s legibility. “We will not stand by him when our opinion is sought by the professional governing bodies. We want Okwiri to train and be handled by a commission appointed coach,” said Imbenzi.
Imbenzi had earlier threatened that Okwiri will lose his African Boxing Union (ABU) middleweight title should he go to Dakar. He claimed the pugilist also risks being ruled out of World Boxing Council (WBC) events.
But in a quick rejoinder, BAK rubbished the letter, saying they will not respond to it. BFK competitions secretary, John Waweru, dismissed the letter saying the pro body has no authority to interfere with Olympic preparations of the amateur team.
“AIBA have since 2016 in Rio allowed professionals to take part in the Olympics as professionals. Likewise, we had pros in Rabat for last year’s All African Games. When our boxer join paid ranks, we do not deny them the opportunity. Now that Okwiri has been picked for the qualifiers, they are complaining formally,” said Waweru adding: “If they feel aggrieved, let them go to the Sports Dispute Tribunal.”