Gicharu charged up
Olympian is now ready for training in the off-season ahead of APB season
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.
Kenyan flyweight boxer Benson Gicharu goes through routine training at Kariobangi Social Hall. /