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Uganda, Kenya face off in Nairobi boxing tourney

Kenyan and Ugandan boxers will face off at the third edition of Harold Obunga Memorial Boxing Tournament set for this weekend in Nairobi at the Kaloleni handball ground this Saturday.

The annual tournament has attracted over 20 boxers from Kampala City and Nairobi County, with the two capital cities will unveil ten boxers each who will clash in search for glory at the tournament that aims to remember former international pugilists as well as fight drugs and other vices in Eastland area of Nairobi.

The Nairobi Counter boxers are currently upping training at the Kaloleni Social Hall under tutelage of former Kenya international hard hitter Kenneth ‘Valdez’ Ochieng.

Ochieng said they currently have over 20 boxers with sparring partners at the non-residential camp at Kaloleni who are stepping up training for the event.

“We plan to whittle the squad to a total of ten boxers by Thursday who will represent Nairobi at the tournament. Right now we have engaged those in camp on speed work, guard, sparring, endurance among other techniques and skills,” noted Valdez.

Among the top pugilists at the camp includes Matayo Keya (lightly), Stephen Ndungu (fly) and Kennedy Omondi (welter).

Kampala contingent is expected in the country as from tomorrow. Harold Obunga was a heavyweight Olympics boxer, who passed on September 16, 1995 in a fatal road accident near Makindu, along Mombasa Road.

Popularly known as Schetza due to his calculated foot work inside the ring, Obunga became a household name, not just in Nairobi’s Eastlands, which was the hotbed of boxing, but all over the country as he overshadowed hitherto established boxers of the heavyweight division within his first year of competitive boxing.

He also made heavyweight boxing interesting to watch in a way only associated with Juma Abdalla Kent and James ‘Demosh’ Omondi.

Due to this regard, the family and his friends came up with a boxing tournament in his remembrance.

The tournament is purely funded by Obunga’s family who has requested Boxing Association of Kenya, Kenya Professional Boxing Commission and corporate to come on board and help them take the event to some new level where other former boxing greats would be remembered.

“The event is purely staged in Kaloleni because this is the estate where Obunga cut his teeth as a daredevil street fighter and boxing novice,” noted Josephine, who is Obunga’s sister.


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