NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Boxing gyms should be established in Nairobi as a
means of combating run away crime in the impoverished estates of
the Kenyan capital.
Speaking on Monday,
retired British professional boxer turned trainer, John Gillies,
highlighted the sport can be used to engage youth constructively
whilst giving them an outlet to make a living away from crime.
Gillies arrived in
the country on Saturday alongside local boxer, Fatuma Zarika,
who will put her World Boxing Council (WBC) Super Bantamweight
title on the line against Mexican Yamileth Marcado in Nairobi on
contrasted the Nairobi situation with his home city of Liverpool
where boxing gyms have sprung up in the crime-infested poor
areas of the English city.
“We have used gyms
to get young kids away from crime since boxing teaches them
discipline and focus and one or more should be started in
Nairobi since there is a huge market for such a facility,” he
Zarika has been
training ahead of her second WBC title fight at Gillies’ 4
Corner Combat and Fitness Gym that he set up two years ago with
his partner, Joseph McNally who is expected in the Kenyan
capital on Tuesday.
professional kickboxing, mixed martial arts and boxer said the
rise of Zarika from the poor estates of Nairobi to the pinnacle
of her sport was enough inspiration to set up the training
“Since we have
arrived in Kenya, we have seen no boxing facilities and where
Zee has gotten to in boxing to be a world champion is
unbelievable. We went around Nairobi and we were told there’s no
boxing gym and she’s gotten to be a world champion, it’s
absolutely unbelievable,” he underscored.
The ex-fighter with
20 years of experience alias ‘Big John’ tipped the Kenyan (34)
to prevail in her second WBC title defence against the
much-younger Mexican (20) who has only lost once in her 13
He cited Zarika’s
good attitude towards training, qualities in the ring; punch
power, the speed, the jab, the boxing brain and a good all round
game as the factors that will tilt the showdown to her favor.
Mercado is expected
to arrive in Nairobi in the early hours of Tuesday with Gillies
saying part of their two-month camp in the UK was geared towards
studying her fighting technique.