Following a disappointing boxing season on the international arena, local boxers will tomorrow evening have something to look forward to as they gather for the annual Debswana Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) awards to be held at the Boipuso Hall.
With the big names like former Botswana Sports Awards Sportsperson of the Year, Zibanani Chikanda and Commonwealth Games quarterfinalist, Mmoloki Tswiigi missing from this year’s nominees, all eyes will be on the Male Boxer of the Year award.
The prestigious awards would be fought for by young flyweight boxer, Mohamed Rajab Otukile of Mafika club, Prisons’ lightweight boxer, Mmoloki Thipe and BMC’s bantamweight boxer, George Molwantwa.
Otukile has been punching his way up the boxing ladder since making his mark as a teenager at the 2014 Africa Youth Games (AYG) where he won a gold medal.
In the very same year, he added another gold medal to his collection, this time from the Africa Union Sports Commission (AUSC) Games. The 21-year-old qualified for the Commonwealth Games but did not impress. He faces stiff competition from Molwantwa who has been impressive in local tournaments while another national team boxer, Thipe, has dominated the 60kg category.
Another boxer who rose to stardom at the AYG, Keamogetse Kenosi will look to defend her Women’s Boxer of the Year award. She faces her Commonwealth Games teammate, Aratwa Kasemang and Gorata Morwe. Boxing icon, France Mabiletsa is nominated for the Administrator of the Year alongside, Marx Nthusang of DTCB club.
Speaking to Mmegi Sport yesterday, BoBA public relations officer, Taolo Tlouetsile said despite a barren season on the international stage, the sport has seen significant growth in the past year. He, however, said
“There is growth, we see other names coming up. The performances of the boxers cannot be taken for granted, some of them have been nominated for the Botswana Sports Awards and this shows growth. There is stiff competition for the awards on Saturday, the boxers have shown great passion and commitment in the past year,” he said. “There has however, been downfalls. We did not send a team to the Zone 4 in 2016. This could have affected some of our boxers’ form. We are also aware of the problems faced by our clubs and boxers, this could also have affected the performances.”
Boxer Of The Year:
Lone Selelo 57kg (Thebephatshwa), Tshephaone Wowanga 60kg (Maun)
Onkgotse Jane 51kg (Gantsi)
Female Boxer Of The Year:
Keamogetse Kenosi 57kg (DTCB), Gorata Morwe 57kg (Gantsi), Aratwa Kasemang 60 kg (UB)
Junior Male Boxer Of The Year:
Brian Galelemogwe, 64kg (Lotsane SSS), Tshephang Kapinga 69kg (Tsholofelo), Treasure Moremi 60kg (DTCB),
Boxer Of The Year Award:
Mmoloki Thipe, 60kg (Prisons), Rajab Otukile Mohammed, 52kg (Mafika), George Molwantwa, 56kg (BMC),
Referee Of The Year:
Lone Batsalelwang, Kabo Garebone, Sam Kareng,
Judge Of The Year:
Immortal Kgosiyang, Godfrey Kablay, Gaolefufa Othamile
Coach Of The Year Award:
Lechedzani Luza (Tsholofelo), Dinners Sikele (BMC), Phuthego Sakhu (Gantsi)
Administrator Of The Year:
France Mabiletsa (Tsholofelo), Marx Nthusang (DTCB)
AFFILIATE OF THE YEAR:
EMG, Tsholofelo, BMC