Barry Silah @Obel_barry
Boxing Association of Kenya (BAK) could face an inquest by the government over an alleged boycott of a bout by a boxer during a recent Indian tournament.
Sources within the Ministry of Sports have intimated that despite fully funding the pre-Commonwealth Games invitational event, pugilist Benson Gicharu might have failed to honour duty with the rest of the team. This has sparked confusion as both the boxer and the association have rebuffed the allegations.
BAK President John Kameta says the 14-member team visited New Delhi for one week and competed save for Gicharu whose opponents did not turn up. “The programme was clear and we availed all our boxers for the tournament.
We knew fully well the importance of this exercise to our boxers who are preparing for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. I believe there was either a communication mishap as the Indian Boxing Federation and the tournament organisers failed to find our boxer a challenger following his Afghanistan opponent absconding.
According to AIBA rules, he got the walkover but it was disappointing since he had trained and wanted the fight.” Unconfirmed reports have been floating that Gicharu completely failed to honour the meet, which was adjudged to be grave. As such the Ministry is said to have opened an inquiry as to whatever transpired with BAK Officials squarely on the spotlight.
The 32-year-old Glasgow Commonwealth Games bronze medallist on his part faulted disorganisation for his woes. Speaking exclusively to People Sport, he said that he failed to get an opponent because there was no appearance during the weigh in sessions. “The laws are clear that when a boxer fails to attend the weigh-ins, then the opponent gets a walkover.
I think I was not favoured because I was present and so I deserved to go through to the next round. However, the biggest issue was that the following day, my next opponent was nowhere in sight.
This to me was suspect because all along the Indian challenger who was to face me had been preparing,” said the former AIBA World Series boxer who revealed that flyweight female pugilist Christine Ongare also failed to find an opponent. He confirmed that indeed boxers were catered for ahead of the tournament.
“The ministry handled our travel and allowances as expected so as Team Kenya we presented ourselves for duty. It was an important outing for the team that will represent Kenya,” Kameta said.