Kenya’s stylish orthodox Nick ‘Commander’ Okoth has ruled out turning pro after the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games next year.
The 37-year-old corporal at Kenya Defence Forces has three more years left before attaining the maximum age of 40 as stipulated by the world governing body, AIBA.
According to the AIBA competition rules, 40 years is the upper limit and one can’t compete at the Olympics beyond that age, whether professional or amateur
According to Boxing Federation of Kenya public relations officer, Duncan ‘Sugar Ray’ Kuria, this means Tokyo Games will be Okoth’s last in whatever capacity.
“I have a burning ambition to inject the requisite quality into the upcoming and future boxers at Defaba. After Tokyo, I will want to join the coaching arm of our team since the rules will bar me from competing as an amateur boxer. But I will hang up my gloves once I feel I can’t jab anymore, so it’s a matter of weighing my options and pushing myself to the limit.”
“Looking at our predecessors, I have come to believe in the idea that the future is bleak at the professional level. I will, therefore, direct my time and energy towards coaching once I decide to hang my gloves. In between, I plan to do a number of courses locally and internationally,” Nick revealed. The rescheduled Tokyo Olympics will be Okoth’s second after Beijing in 2008.
“At the local level, I have achieved quite a lot and therefore I want to see what the Olympics in Tokyo can offer. After Tokyo, I will still want to do a few tournaments and see how far I can go. The Olympics is definitely big and the highest level you can go as an amateur,” he added.
With the biggest pedestal in amateur boxing being the Olympics, Okoth is overly excited to make it after 12 years.
“Having already tasted the stage in 2008, it is always a life-changing moment and I’m praying that this coronavirus pandemic ends soon and life returns to normal.”
Okoth is one of the most talented boxers of his generation after the late Joshua Ndere and Suleiman Bilali. He is a younger sibling of 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games silver medalist Absalom Okinyi aka Diblo.
His litany of achievements includes a bronze at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, Brazzaville All African Games in 2015 and Rabat 2019.