Okwiri beaming with confidence ahead of Munoz fight
Africa middleweight 72kg champion Rayton Okwiri will return to the ring on Saturday to take on Colombia’s Fidel Monterrosa Munoz in an eight round non-title fight in Portland Maine in the USA, promoted by Michael Reyes of Reyes Boxing Inc.
The 2016 Rio Olympics quarter-finalist who has had six bouts without a loss, drawing one is now based in Boston on a five-year managerial contract with Raynelo Management who are partners with Reyes Boxing Inc.
Okwiri, 35, is not shaken by the record of his Colombian opponent Fidel Munoz who has won 39 fights, lost 25 and drawn once. The 33-year-old Colombian fights from the orthodox stance and turned professional in 2006.
“I’m not bothered by my opponent’s record, he won’t last eight rounds because I’m in good shape now,” boasted Okwiri.
Okwiri, a Sergeant at Kenya Prisons Service, said he’s grateful for the support from his employer, dedicating Saturday’s fight to Commissioner General of Kenya Prisons Service Wycliffe Ogallo CBS, his deputy Benjamin Njoga, Sports Coordinator and Olympic Marathon silver medallist Catherine Ndereba, Kenya Professional Boxing Commission Chairman Reuben Ndolo and Secretary-general Franklin Imbenzi.
“The Commissioner General (Wycliffe Ogallo) his deputy Benjamin Njoga and Catherine Ndereba have boosted my morale in every way possible. I appreciate their kind gesture to allow me turn professional and retain my job while still in their payroll.”
Okwiri left the country in May and landed in Cancun, Mexico for more intensive training in preparation for a series of fights lined up for him in the United States and in East Africa.
He then moved to Boston for sparring camp, which he says has improved his shape a great deal.
“I prefer training in the US because of tough sparring partners unlike in Kenya where we lack stiff competition during sparring sessions,” he offered.
The Kenyan southpaw last fought on December 14, 2019 at Nairobi’s Charter Hall, retaining his ABU title by outpointing Augustine Matata from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in a 10-round fight.
Okwiri has won all his six fights including 4 KOs and one draw since turning professional in February 2017.
On February 4 same year, he KO’d Tanzania’s Salehe Mkalekwa in the Fox Sports Promotion card at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Nairobi.
In his fifth fight on June 8, 2019 Okwiri captured the vacant Africa Boxing Union (ABU) middleweight title with a third round KO over Tanzania’s Hussein Itaba at the Charter Hall.
Promoter Michael Reyes has been impressed by Okjwiri’s progress so far in training saying he has learnt to sit down on his punches and is going hard in sparring.
“I believe Rayton will be among the top 10 boxers of his category in the world by this time next year,” he assessed.
Okwiri revealed his burning ambition to become a world champion before he turns 40.