Posted June 28, 2020 5:28 pm by

Where are they now? Boxing champion now a broke city guard for a club

In the early ‘90s Kenyan boxers were celebrated globally for winning world titles but that’s how far they went since most of them retired with nothing to show for the fame they earned in the rings.

A number of them lost hope, blaming poor management, both at the amateur and professional levels.

Thomas ‘Black Rhino’ Okusi is one of the many Kenyan boxers who have nothing to show for the many years they juggled between the gym and the ring in their youthful days.

Okusi, who has been holding the national heavyweight title since defeating Mark Sirengo 15 years ago at Nyayo Stadium, has been forced to turn to a security job at a city club just to make ends meet.

Fame has failed to put food on the table for the 54-year-old.

“Like any other sportsman, I took up boxing with the hope of getting something out of it. I worked hard daily to make sure that I succeed and become famous. I managed to achieve that but as years progressed, life started changing and had to be responsible. It’s then that I found out that boxing had not offered me what I was looking for and had to hang my gloves and seek other alternatives,” Okusi said.

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Okusi blames promoters for his predicament and all that has affected the sport in Kenya.

He believes that had promoters played their part well, then he and other boxers would be swimming in riches.

“Promoters are the cause of problems in our boxing. They put their interests first, at the expense of the sport. Many are times that we were forced to sign for bouts with promises of good money only to be duped. If promoters were sincere, maybe I would be a millionaire and won’t be standing here (the entrance of the club) ushering in clients or trying to maintain law and order,” he said.

Okusi, who inflicted 10 KOs on his opponents in his 16 years professional career, vividly recalls how two promoters made him miss on fighting in Russia after wrangles erupted amongst themselves.

“I got an invite to fight in Russia. This fight would definitely have earned me some good money by just appearing, leave alone winning. But this didn’t happen because as soon as I got to Russia, two local promoters started haggling over me claiming that they own me. This sent a wrong message to Read More…Where are they now? Boxing champion now a broke city guard for a club  Where are they now? Boxing champion now a broke city guard for a club  Where are they now? Boxing champion now a broke city guard for a club  Where are they now? Boxing champion now a broke city guard for a club