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WBF World Title & National Pride On The Line For Rachid Jkitou
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PREVIEW   Photo: Undefeated World Boxing Federation (WBF) World Title-Challenger Rachid Jkitou from Morocco.

When undefeated Rachid Jkitou takes on American Shawn Miller for the vacant World Boxing Federation (WBF) World Light Heavyweight title on Saturday April 8 at the Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort in Marrakesh, Morocco, he is fighting for much more than himself.

After winning a couple of regional titles, Jkitou, 24-0 (17), is obviously very keen to personally reach new heights by becoming world champion, but first and foremost it is his mission to make his Moroccan countrymen proud, and help elevate boxing in his birth-country.

I want to win the WBF World title, and proudly raise the Moroccan flag in victory”, Jkitou recently told local media. “Making my country and its people proud is extremely important to me, and hopefully I will help make the sport even more popular here.”

But Jkitou is well aware that Shawn Miller, 15-3-1 (5), will be a tough obstacle to get by. The 35-year-old from Troy, New York lost a close challenge of then WBF world champion Tony Averlant in 2015, and has had plenty of time to prepare for his second shot at glory.

I have watched many videos of Miller, and I know what he is all about”, said Jkitou. “Just like me, he is a come-forward fighter, so it is sure to be a lively and good fight. Of course I cant underestimate him, and I am expecting a war in the ring. I am prepared for it!”

Turning professional at twenty-one in 2007, Jkitou based his career in France where he had nineteen of his first twenty bouts and won the national Super Middleweight title. But in recent years he has returned to his roots, and this will be his fifth straight outing in Morocco.

Shawn Miller is a former WBF North American Champion, a title he won in 2013 and successfully defended the following year before coming up short against Averlant in 2015. He has since been waiting patiently for a new opportunity, which he is travelling all the way to Morocco to get.

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