Kenyan Olympian turned pro boxer Rayton Okwiri says he is ready for the journey of throwing punches for a living, as he prepares for his first professional bout since signing for Fox Sports in the early weeks of January. The former Kenya Prisons Weltereight amateur who turns 31 in March says he has been training well for his fight with Tanzanian Iddi Pialari in Nairobi at 2pm Saturday.
Speaking during the weigh in on Friday, Okwiri has said that going pro is a dream come true, and is happy that Fox offered him a good deal after the Olympics.
“[Fox] looked for me when I came back after the Olympics. Theysaidthat they had watched me fight in Rio, and they were impressed by my skills and that’s why they wanted to sign me. I felt they made good sense, and so after speaking with KBF president [John Kameta] I signed with them,” says Okwiri.
The six-round super welterweight (69 kg) fight will be held at the Crown Plaza Hotel, Upper Hill. It will have an invites-only attendance, with the matches airing live on KBC. Other Kenyans Nick Otieno and Gabriel Ochieng will also be throwing their weight in the ring in the Super Flyweight (52 kg) and Super Bantamweight (55kg) respectively, both against Tanzanian opposition.
The boxer’s package for the bout has not been revealed, but his contract already gives him a training allowance of Ksh. 150, 000 a month.
Okwiri, who joined pro boxing after quitting Amateur Professional Boxing, has been training under tactician Nick Odhiambo, who also worked with him in his national team days.
The contract with Fox allows Okwiri to face other pro boxers from Tanzania, Botswana, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana and the UK.
Former Makadara MP Ruben Ndolo, a boxer in his day, will supervise the Fox event.