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Fox Sports deal bitter pill for professional boxing body

CALISTUS KOLANTSHO
FILE PIC : MORERI SEJAKGOMO
The Professional Boxing Association of Botswana (PBAB) president, Shakes Kebualemang has revealed that the Fox Sports deal is a bitter pill to swallow due to some of its contents.

Fox Sports brought two World Boxing Association Pan-African titles to Gaborone recently. The bouts were sanctioned by the World Boxing Association (WBA). Kebualemang said when Fox Sports arrived in Botswana they approached Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) with a proposal to do business with professional boxing body in the country.

He said the BNSC involved them in the deal because they (PBAB) know how to handle professional boxing events.

“Fox Sports wanted to have their bouts here. They came to Botswana because they realised that we have potential boxers. In the past before PBAB was established, we had a Boxing Controlling Body that was tasked with dealing with promoters who wanted to do business in Botswana. The body made sure that the promoters met requirements such as insurance for boxers and medical check ups,” Kebualemang said.

“There are some things that Fox does that we are not happy about, but I cannot reveal them to you. Just know that we are not impressed,” Kebualemang said. 

He said the most important medical conditions that boxers must get checked for are HIV/AIDS and hepatitis. He said the agreement they have with Fox Sports is for them to have three competitions in Gaborone.

He said they have charged Fox Sports P10,000 for them to host their events.  He added that they intend to increase the fee next year. He mentioned that PBAB pay an annual subscription of P500. Kebualemang said it is important for local boxers to be part of title bouts. He said in the past competition, local boxer Kgomotso Bok fought in six rounds and next he would be going for an eight rounder, which means he is about to fight for a title when he reaches 12 rounds.

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He said at the moment Lesley Sekotswe is the only one who qualifies to fight for a belt. “We are benchmarking from countries such as South Africa and Namibia who are a step ahead in terms of professional boxing. Meanwhile, Kebualemang said they have applied for BNSC affiliation and are hopeful that they can be accepted during the upcoming BNSC annual general meeting scheduled for November. He said they need to be assisted financially by the Commission.

One of the local promoters, Thuso ‘Scud’ Khubamang of D-scud boxing stable said the Fox Sports deal came at the right time. He said the deal has assisted boxers a lot.

“The two events that were held had positive public interest. It is too early to be saying that the deal has some elements that are not good for us,” he said.

Khubamang said the current PBAB committee is not in good standing and there are some things that need to be corrected.

He said the committee should consult promoters and trainers when they intend to negotiate with a potential partner such as Fox. He said at the moment it is not clear who has partnered with Fox, as it should be the practice.

“There are some issues that cropped up after the last competition that need to be ironed before the next event to be held in December.

We cannot have a company operating here without a local partner.

Fox should have a local partner. I do not know the agreement between PBAB and Fox from the beginning,” he said. Khubamang said Botswana has been lucky to be one of the countries that Fox chose to hold its events. He said local boxing needs Fox in order to grow.



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