Gicharu charged up

Olympian is now ready for train­ing in the off-sea­son ahead of APB sea­son

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports International - SAM­SON ATEKA @sam­son ateka

Kenya’s AIBA Pro Box­ing (APB) star and Olympian Ben­son Gicharu will be us­ing the long end of year off­sea­son va­ca­tion to en­hance power play and gen­eral fit­ness.

Gicharu, who re­sumed train­ing last week after rep­re­sent­ing the coun­try at the Rio Olympics, said he is hop­ing to make a good come­back when the semi pro APB com­pe­ti­tion re­sumes early next sea­son.

“I have had a good rest after the gru­elling Olympic pro­gram which took the bet­ter part of the sea­son and I’m glad that my come­back is tak­ing shape day-by-day. I have been do­ing a lot of gym train­ing lately to try and en­hance power on my jabs. I guess that will take quite a bit of time be­fore I em­bark on my en­durance phase of train­ing which will en­tail rig­or­ous jog­ging ses­sions,” Gicharu said.

Ban­tamweight Gicharu bet­ter known as ‘Benso’ in lo­cal box­ing cir­cles, made it to the Rio Olympics in­ci­den­tally mi­nus a coach when he trav­elled to Venezuela for the fi­nal qual­i­fiers and edged out aft lo­cal Vic­tor Ro­driquez on points in the semis of the APB and AIBA World Se­ries of Box­ing qual­i­fi­ca­tion event in Var­gas.

Gicharu went on to van­quish Do­mini­can Hec­tor Luis Gar­cia in the fi­nal. “There will be no more APB matches this year which al­lows me more time to pre­pare. So I will also be vis­it­ing many teams to be able to meet as many coaches as pos­si­ble. It was great train­ing with Po­lice last week and I’m glad with what I have gained thus far, “he added.

Gicharu, who also played in the 2012 Olympics in Lon­don plies his trade in the APB ranks along­side com­pa­tri­ots wel­ter­weight Ray­ton Ok­wiri and mid­dleweight Nick­son Abaka.

Gicharu, a pugilist of Nairobi’s Mukuru pro­duc­tion line left the Rio­cen­tro pav­il­ion in Rio Olympics, bleed­ing and nurs­ing a deep cut and ex­tremely ex­cru­ci­ated after los­ing on unan­i­mous de­ci­sion to Mon­go­lian Tsend­baatar Er­denebat in their ban­tamweight pre­lim­i­nary match.

Mean­while, Kenya Pris­ons have named a team of four box­ers to this week’s Kenya Open at their Kaloleni train­ing base.

The event will start on Thurs­day through to Satur­day and will fea­ture over 20 teams in­clud­ing Kenya Po­lice, KDF, Pris­ons, Kenya, Keny­atta National Hos­pi­tal, Mom­basa, Cen­tral, Kisumu, Nanyuki, Nakuru and Nairobi Among oth­ers.

Un­like in the league, where teams are al­lowed one boxer per weight divi­sion, Kenya Open will see teams en­ter­ing more than one per weight.

Pris­ons suf­fered four in­juries in the fi­nal leg in Nakuru last month and coach Mor­ris Maina ‘Kawata’ re­grets field­ing the lean­est team ever in the his­tory of the com­pe­ti­tion.

Pri­ons will be with­out Olympian Aziz Ali, who dis­lo­cated his leg in Nakuru and fly­weight Har­ri­son Mathuku, who suf­fered concussion.

Also out of the Pris­ons team will be light­weight An­thony Ngugi and light wel­ter­weight Moses Olu­och, who is nurs­ing a cut on his left eye­brow.

Don­ning Pris­ons’ colours will be— Wil­liam Ka­mau (light­weight), Steven Omondi (mid­dleweight), Kennedy Okello (ban­tamweight) and Joseph Otengo (mid­dleweight).

“Un­like the league matches which is a team event, Kenya Open is an in­di­vid­ual event and as such comes with min­i­mal pres­sure.

Our box­ers have a pe­riod for re­cov­ery well in time for the new sea­son,” said Maina who won gold for Kenya at the 1987 All African Games.

FILE

Kenyan fly­weight boxer Ben­son Gicharu goes through rou­tine train­ing at Kar­i­obangi So­cial Hall. /

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