“Life in the ghetto was hard,” UBO bantamweight champion Nick “Black Sugar” Otieno recounts. “I was hassled all around—at home and in the local neighborhood. As a kid, I was tiny and I got beat up a lot by the lads. That’s what probably pushed me to take up boxing, to be able to defend myself.” He enrolled at the Dandora Bangla boxing gym to protect his life and build a career in boxing..
Who can stop a man who is fighting for his life?
But that’s exactly what will be running inside the head of Otieno when he climbs up in the ring to face the reigning IBF Intercontinental superfly champion Z “The Dream” Gorres.
“Since (the) Eketerinburg fight, my boxer is like a wounded lion,” Otieno trainer Paul Otieno said. “No oen is going to stand in our way, not even Z Gorres. We are heading for the top, via Cebu. It may take a year or two, but we will get there.”
The hard life in the ghetto burns Otieno inside. It hardened him. If fired him up to take on Russian warrior Eduardo Garcia, the reigning IBF International bantamweight king, on Feb 23 in a fight that could go down to the history of Russian boxing as one of the great fights in the bantamweight category.
“I have never enjoyed myself in the ring like I did in that fight in Russia,” Otieno recalled. “It was so much fun; the Russian fans were just great. I am not bitter for the loss…(although) I knew early in the rounds that I had won the fight.”
Otieno confirmed that the hardest fight he ever had was with Twalib Mubiru for the UBO bantamweight title. He first fought Mubiru in his bid to take the vacant UBO bantamweight title on Dec 12, 2006. The fight was heated and teeming with pressure as they take their rivalry to the 12th round where Otieno won through a split decision.
Roughly three months later, Mubiru came back to challenge Otieno for the crown. Their punches sparked the ring and amused the crowd. This time he had decided to take Muribu down as early as he could. He pressed Mubiru some more until he broke down in the 7th round, and defended his belt with a TKO.
There is no question that Otieno is a hardened and experienced pugilist. There is no question that he is fired inside for a chance to break into the world boxing arena. There is no question that he packed a punch that had knocked down a champion.
The question is: Can Z Gorres withstand the heat of the African Black Sugar? Will his body take on so much punishment? And then finally, can Gorres stop a man who is fighting for his life?
“One More Time” will heat up at Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino on May 31, sponsored by the premier entertainment leader Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino, the Cebu City Government, Cebu’s first Y101, and the great Oriental food specialist Big Mao at the Crossroads.
Tickets are available in ALA Gym BTC (4162011), Islands Souvenirs Ayala (2312581) and SM City Cebu (2321906), and Bisaya Ispisyal Ayala (2312376) and SM City Cebu (2320610). More tickets will be available at the Waterfront lobby on May 21. Get your tickets while supply lasts.