Teams with less than six boxers ‘to miss support’

Wednesday November 1 2017

Harison Mathuku of Kenya Prisons (left) in action against Shaffi Bakari of Kenya Police during the fourth leg of SportPesa National Boxing League at Madison Square in Nakuru. PHOTO | AYUB MUIYURO |

Harison Mathuku of Kenya Prisons (left) in action against Shaffi Bakari of Kenya Police during the fourth leg of SportPesa National Boxing League at Madison Square in Nakuru. PHOTO | AYUB MUIYURO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

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Teams in the national boxing league with less than six boxers will miss out on the SportPesa league sponsorship from next January.

At the same time, Boxing Association of Kenya (BAK) vice president Albert Matito said teams that finish at the bottom of the 16-team league will be relegated.

However, Matito did not indicate how many teams will be dropped or what would their fate as the association has no lower tier leagues.

“BAK want to improve the standard of the game which is dwindling by the day, and that is why we have decided to introduce tough measures that will ensure the league is competitive,” said Matito.

During the fourth leg of the league at the Madison Square Garden Nakuru last month, some of the teams were represented by single boxers while others were not represented at all.

For instance, hosts Nakuru, who used to parade a full squad in the national league, was only represented by a single boxer — Lemid Thiong’o — who was knocked out in the second round of the three-day tournament.

Other teams which had less than two boxers included Kongowea, Kibra, Thika, Ndenderu and Kisumu.

Matito said that it was wrong for some of the teams to bring makeshift squads to such competitions while the league was fully sponsored.

“This is a wake-up call for coaches to pull up their socks because the league is fully sponsored and all the boxers’ travel, accommodation and other expenses are fully paid by our sponsors, SportPesa,” said Matito.

The fifth leg of the league will be held in Mombasa from November 9 to 11 where the overall winner will be crowned.

Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) clinched the fourth leg in Nakuru by amassing 25 points ahead of defending champions Kenya Police's “Chafua Chafua” squad who got 19 points.

Kenya Prisons collected five points while G44- Soweto harvested four points with Dallas and Kentrack collecting three points apiece.

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