In the final of our interviews with the Irish team for the World Universities Championships, we speak to big Kenny Okungbowa.
A regular at the Senior Championships, the Athlone heavyweight has hit a rich vein of form in 2016, winning both the Haringey Box Cup in London and, last weekend, taking home top prize at the Celtic Box Cup in Dungarvan.
The win in Waterford was the Westmeath boxer’s third consecutive triumph at the tournament and he told Irish-Boxing.com that “it’s great to come out on top of such prestigious tournament like the Celtic Box Cup.”
“I’m feeling sharp and it’s a great confidence builder for Thailand.”
Okungbowa is indeed confident ahead of the competition in Chang Mai and explained how “my goal is to claim gold in this tournament and in good fashion! I’m excited and looking forward to representing my country and college.”
The midlander is a fourth year in Applied Social Studies in Social Care in his local Athlone Institute of Technology. He admits that “I get no support from the IABA. I get great support from the AIT, with being awarded a scholarship and I would like to thank the president of the AIT Ciarán O’Catháin and the head of the sports department Gordan Brett.”
Okungbowa feels that motivation is the main factor in whether one can succeed as a student athlete and encouraged more boxers to take this pate. He described how “I find, when it comes juggling my studies and boxing, that it comes down to time management and how motivated you are, and I’m a highly driven individual.”
“My advice to young boxers would be, to get some level of education, so to have something to fall back-on if they decide not to go professional.”
“The IABA could put a program in place in order to encourage more student-athletes. This would give the young boxers something to fall back on if their circumstances change.”