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BoBA to reward boxers amid slump

CALISTUS KOLANTSHO
Boxers will be recognized on Saturday PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) will reward this year’s outstanding boxers at Boipuso Hall on Saturday despite a decline in standards. Debswana Diamond Company sponsors the awards for P224,500 up from last year’s P200,000.

The awards come against a backdrop of a slump in local boxing. The sport has always excelled in international competitions but it has been a different story with boxers failing to make it to this year’s Olympic Games held in Brazil.

BoBA president, Dr Thato Patlakwe admitted in an interview yesterday that there has been a decline in standards. He said despite that, the awards are meant to appreciate the hardwork that the boxers displayed this year.

“Boxers gave their all even though they failed to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics. We want to appreciate what they did and the awards should be a motivation for next year,” he said.

Patlakwe said they will be rewarding those who excelled in 2016. Last year the awards covered two seasons, 2014 and 2015. Meanwhile, Patlakwe said he was impressed with the performance of the boxers during the BoBA National Championships held last weekend. He said the competition was tough and some upsets were registered. He said the boxers are aware that they have to be in top shape in order for

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them to make the national team cut. Patlakwe said they are in the process of restructuring and one of the key areas is the criterion used to select the national team. He said the idea is to have two teams, which is the A and B sides.

“Olympics is a four year process. We had boxers that we had thought would take us to Rio 2016 such as Oteng Oteng and Tirafalo Seoko who had the potential to qualify. But unfortunately we lost them along the way due to various factors,” Patlakwe said.

The nominees are: male promising boxer of the year: Bakang Rakhudu (Mafika), Boifang Keaope (Francistown) and Tshepo Mbwe (Gantsi). Male boxer of the year: Zibani Chikanda (EMG), Lentswe Zwinila (Glen Valley) and Kabelo Bagwasi (DTCB).

Female boxer of the year: Koketso Dipogiso (KNBC), Keamogetse Kenosi (DTCB) and Keneilwe Rakhudu (DTCB). Coach of the year: Buwendo Sande Mpigi (Prisons), Keleagetse Ntong (Mafika) and Mothusi Taele (EMG). Best judge: Victor Mhlanga, Linda Masalila and Gaolefufa Othamile. Best referee: Thatayotlhe Frazer Mothibedi, Gaolathe Rampape and Godfrey Kablay.



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