This year has been nothing but pain for Lobatse-based boxing club, Mafika. Their season was marred by deaths of boxers and their relatives, particularly in the case of Rajab Muhammed Otukile, who lost his mother while his brother was murdered.
To make matters worse, his coach, Keleagetse Ntong also lost a child in a car accident. All the pain was healed by happiness when Mafika won the Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) national championship held over the weekend in Gaborone.
Mafika shared the same points with their neighbours, BMC. Ntong told Monitor Sport that after everything they went through this year, they deserved to end the year on a high note.
“That was all the motivation that my boxers needed to be happy. We cried a lot and now it is time to cry tears of joy. When the year started, just like other clubs we told ourselves that we are going to win the championship, but we were nearly derailed by the obstacles we came across. Like they say, what does not break you, makes you stronger,” he said.
Ntong said Otukile who has never won a national championship medal, but always represented the country in international games has for the past three years been unlucky with injuries.
“This is not the end because being on top comes with challenges. Everybody is targeting us and we should go back and work harder. We have been finishing in the second position in the past few years. We are working together with BMC and share resources,” Ntong said.
He observed that the 2018 championship was tough hence clubs sharing points.
Meanwhile, boxers in different categories were on top of their game, but the most exciting bout was between Mmoloki Thipe
The bout started on a high with both boxers showing no respect for each other. Thipe started off going for power punches against Moremi.
That did not intimidate Moremi who kept his cool and launched his own attack.Thipe was unable to keep up with power punching as he ran out of steam in the second round and that made it easy for the 19-year-old Moremi dominate the bout to win it 3-0.
Moremi said most of his opponents think that he is an aggressive boxer and even when they train, that is their focus.
“Thipe came with a game plan of hitting a power punch and shift. I understand him and he comes from higher weights to lightweight. He does not have stamina and runs out of steam quickly.
“I dominated the bout and just scored him from second round until the match ended,” he said.
One of the women boxers, Keamogetse Kenosi of DTCB had an easy day in the office, having her bout stopped in the first round through a TKO against Ketlogetswe Motingwa of Prisons.
Kenosi said she has been working hard for the final.“My opponent did not have the qualities of facing me. She should go back and train more because the problem is that young boxers give up quickly, but that should not be the case,” she said.