Local boxers are set to exchange blows this weekend at the Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) national championships that will be held at the University of Botswana auditorium.
The two-day competition starts on Saturday and ends on Sunday.
BoBA spokesperson, Kenny Maragana told Mmegi Sport yesterday the championship does not have a sponsor and the association is headlining it. The championship comes after the Kgalagadi Breweries Limited (KBL) under the Keone Mooka Mageu brand sponsorship expired last year.
Maragana said they are still interested in seeing a sponsor coming on board, but they remain open to other potential sponsors who can assist in the development of boxing.
He added boxing remains one of the sporting codes that are doing well in both the local and international competitions.
He added with such potential, sponsors could easily get mileage when they partner with BoBA.
Maragana said boxers had to qualify to find a place in the championship through interclub competitions that were held across the country in recent months. He explained that male boxers could only be part of the competition if they have fought not less than five bouts. Women boxers should have fought not less than two bouts.
“The number of bouts for men is higher than women because they have been more competitive.
The championship kicks off with preliminaries. Semi-finals and finals are scheduled for next weekend at a venue yet to be decided by the association,” he said. He said some of the interesting boxers that have qualified for the championship are Zibane Chikanda in the 75kg category and Kagiso Bagwasi, who will fight in the 64kg category.
Chikanda qualified for the World championship and is the Africa championship silver medalist. Maragana said one of the most anticipated bouts is between Keoagile Rantutu and Mmuse Pswiige. He said military champion, Lentswe Zwimile will battle it out in the 69kg bout.
Maragana said all eyes would be on Mohammed Otukile who stands a good chance of being in the national team. Otukile will compete in the 52kg bout and will be preparing for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games qualifiers.
“We expect the women competition to be interesting when Pearl Morake takes on Keneilwe Rakhudu. The other boxer that is expected to prove her mettle is Tshephang Moilwa. The national team is also using the national championship as preparation for the second Olympic qualifiers that will be held in Morocco. They are scheduled to go on camp after the competition,” said Maragana.