Boxer Nkabiti threatens to quit

 Herbert Nkabiti (middle)
Herbert Nkabiti (middle)

FRANCISTOWN: Professional boxer, Herbert Nkabiti says lack of support from both the government and public might force him to hang his gloves.

Nkabiti (34) told a media briefing here on Monday that he is tired of doing more for the country yet in return he does not get support.

A former sportsperson of the year, Nkabiti said his 19 year journey in boxing might come to an end due to lack of resources. He said he could no longer afford to use his family resources to put his country on the map, yet he is not recognised.

“I did this because I am determined, passionate and believe in my self. That is why I volunteered to do it without expecting payment in return. Because of my achievements I had hoped I would be recognised like other sportspersons out there,” he said.

Nkabiti holds a record of 12 fights with nine wins, one draw and two loses. He is the first Botswana boxer to hold such record, he reminded journalists.

The boxer said he has travelled the world in pursuit of his passion and he had to turn down few offers due to lack of finance.

“At one point, I was supposed to go to America to develop my sport after one man saw me in a action. He recruited me to go to America but due to insufficient funds, I had to turn the incredible offer down,” he said.

He however appreciated efforts by Buy ‘N Build, which has been his only sponsor for many years.

He said boxing is not a cheap sport as it requires a lot including dieticians, physiologists and trainers among others, and Buy ‘N build alone cannot afford to shoulder the burden.

Currently, Nkabiti is training children from the ages of three to five in Francistown. He hopes to host boxing matches in Francistown, Kanye and Gaborone where he would invite boxers from South Africa.

“I want people to see me fight as a professional boxer because they have only seen me at amateur level,” he said.

Buy ‘N Build representative, Khalid Hassim said they got involved with the boxer in order to make him “feel and look professional.”

When they saw Nkabiti in action, they felt his talent needed to be groomed and appreciated, Hassim said.

He said both the government and community need to assist athletes, as without resources, they would fail.

“There is a lot of talent in the country that need to be nurtured, which however goes unnoticed. For Nkabiti, it is quite sad because for so many years he strived on the love for boxing and his country but to date he is still unrecognised,” lamented Hassim.

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