Rwanda Amateur Boxing Association (Raba) is set to host boxers from neighbors Kenya and Burundi in build-up fights aimed at fine tuning pugilists ahead of the African Olympic qualifying event due in Morocco from April 27-May 6.

The federation’s technical director Gashugi Kananura, who also doubles as the national team coach, told Sunday Sport on Friday, “We are planning to stage build-up bouts on February 24.”

“Burundi and Kenya have agreed to send their boxers and we hope this will be a good opportunity for our boxers to prepare for the Olympics qualifying tournament,” he noted.

Out of the 12 boxers in camp, high hopes lay in Light Welter (64kg) Jean Maurice Bikorimana, Welter Weight (69kg) duo of Theoneste Gakunzi and Siraha Nizeyimana, Feather Weight (57kg) Salim Kwizera and Light Fly (48kg) Haziza Matusi.

Rwanda failed to send a single boxer to the first Olympic qualifying event sanctioned by the International Boxing Federation (AIBA) held in Baku, Azerbaijan last October, due to “lack of funds”.

With not a single boxer having qualified yet, the only remaining window of qualification left is the Africa Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Casablanca, Morocco.

By Bonnie Mugabe, The New Times


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