By: RICHARD MWANGI
Kenya Police bantamweight boxer, Benson Gicharu, on Sunday said that he had high hopes of qualifying for next year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Gicharu, who was the sole male pugilist to represented the country at the 2012 London Olympics, said that he has been training hard for the forthcoming African Olympic qualifiers set for Yaounde, Cameroon from Match 9 to 20.
Africa has been allocated 30 places, three boxers per weight category.
Gicharu, one of the three Kenyan boxers in the AIBA pro-boxing (APB) circuit, failed narrowly to clinch one of the two bantamweight Olympic slots.
APB had been given 20 Olympic places, two per weight. Gicharu’s bout against Jiawei Zhang of China in June ended prematurely when Gicharu suffered a deep eye brow cut.
After the fight, Gicharu left China for Germany where he was training knowing that he had won and now only needed one more victory to secure himself an Olympic position.
He said at the time that he was surprised when he was informed by APB organisers that his July fight was to be against Javid Chelabiyev of Azerbaijan who had lost to Alberto Mellan of Argentina.
Zhang qualified for the Olympics by winning the bantamweight title and is top ranked in the weight category while Gicharu is ranked fourth.
SOURCE: DAILY NATION