The Professional Boxing Association of Botswana (PBAB) and a boxing promoter, Patrick Farrell, are at odds over the cancelled September 27 boxing tournament.
Botswana was scheduled to host national title bouts, but the tournament, organised by Farrell’s Global Boxing Stars and Bond Boxing Promotion, was cancelled at the last minute. Farrell blames the development on PBAB’s internal fights.
He said there was no real plan or understanding of what they actually want to achieve.
“Everyone is looking at how they can make money from day one that is just never going to work,” he said.
Farrell said he is ready to assist PBAB if they want and he does not need payment. Farrell said the sponsors, who were said to be on board, never came through with funds.
He said even sponsors that his partner, Bond Ngubula of Bond Promotions had promised, never materialised.
“Many other factors stood in the way of this project, including prices initially agreed by suppliers going up or in some cases doubling. Ngubula and I made the decision to cancel the show,” Farrell said.
“I was more than happy to fund 50% of the cost and I had no intention of making money from the show. I just wanted to give Botswana a taste of what is truly possible. However, there was not enough interest at this time from any sponsors.”
He explained that promoting a show is never really about making money, covering costs is the initial goal. He said it is a platform to focus on building fighters’ careers such that they have a shot at big money fights in the United States and other countries.
“I have built a very successful business and I work with the best in the world. I have helped the careers of numerous fighters to become world champions and be successful.
I am not at this point interested to promote here in Botswana. But I would support other promoters where I can to help them build the sport. I have learnt in this business to never say never and if the right opportunity to promote in Botswana comes in the future, I will take a serious look at it,” he said.
PBAB president, Tsietsi ‘Shakes’ Kebualemang said the cancellation of the show came as a shock, and denied allegations of internal bickering. He said they learnt about the cancellation through a social media post.
“The promoters did not bother to write us a letter informing us about the cancellation. Even up to now they have not arranged a meeting with us to inform us of what transpired,” he said.
He said PBAB had given the promoters the tournament requirements, which they should have abided by, 21 days before the event. Kebualemang said PBAB incurred costs buying national title belts, which now await another promoter to organise a tournament.
“Such things made us unhappy. The promoters are accusing us of not doing things professionally, which is just an excuse. I admit that during our recent annual general meeting (AGM) there was a disruption by a certain individual but that does not mean the show should have been called off,” he said.
Kebualemang said there were World Boxing Association (WBA) titles that were to be fought for, but the promoters failed to meet the requirements hence the decision to stick to local titles.
“They could not expect us to give out our titles for free. Professional boxing is business and we could not just be left empty-handed,” he said.