Apex Body for Botswana Sport brings hope

Members of the Professional Boxing Association of Botswana (PBAB) at the special general meeting held over the weekend
Members of the Professional Boxing Association of Botswana (PBAB) at the special general meeting held over the weekend

The Professional Boxing Association of Botswana (PBAB) is hopeful that the Apex Body for Botswana Sport is the messiah that they have been waiting for.

The association's vice president, Seroba Binda told Sport Monitor on the sidelines of a Special General Meeting that was held at Yarona Country Lodge in Mogoditshane over the weekend.

He said currently they are struggling because professional boxing is not recognised by act of Parliament. “We have been squeezed under amateur structure, which means our grant does not take us where we want to be. Getting a subversion of around P100, 000 is not enough. Currently the association solely depends on promoters to host tournaments,” he said.

He explained that all along, Botswana sport has always been amateur and PBAB is the only professional sport. He said PBAB is the only one in Southern Africa that is still being managed under amateur structure. Binda also said they cannot be rated for amateur sport. He said they are not able to host a single tournament. Meanwhile, Binda said during the ban on sport, they had some fights that were planned.

He said some of the promoters lost sponsorships. He stated that immediately after the ban was lifted, some companies were no longer interested in continuing with the agreement.

He said although some boxers benefited from the government relief fund, it was not the same as what they could have received from the tournaments. “Some of the bouts were title fights where boxers were to get around P30, 000 per bout while the government only offered around P3, 000. As professional boxing we depend on companies and if they pull out it is a challenge but to get the same sponsorship again it is not easy. But we are glad companies such as Coca Cola are back on board,” Binda said. He said their boxers were affected because some of them depend on sport for a living.

Binda also said with the return to action, they are picking up the pieces.

He said Steven Bagwasi would be taking part in a supporting bout at the Pan African tournament in Namibia. Binda said without action it is difficult for amateur boxers to turn professionals. He said the last time when boxers elevated to professional boxing, it was due to a push from Thuso ‘Scud’ Khubamang. He said after that there were about five bouts which were hosted. “We are still doing sport for passion in this country. There is nothing that attracts young talent like what we saw happening at athletics when athletes were given property.

If young boxers could see action, things would change,” he said. Binda said Keamogetse Kenosi and Muhammad Rajab Otukile should be thinking of turning professional right now but if they do not see action or anything lucrative, they would stay at amateur until they retire. He said one talented boxer, Kgomotso Bok ended up giving up because there was nothing that made him to stay in boxing.

Binda said age is also catching up with Kgotla Baeti and he might decide to retire because right now he should be outside the country challenging for titles. Meanwhile, Binda said PBAB has purchased belts that they want to be competed for by local boxers. He said the belts would be associated with companies. Furthermore, PBAB president, Shakes Kebuwalemang announced his retirement and that he would not be seeking re-election at the upcoming elections. Kebuwalemang has been inducted into the Botswana sport Hall of Fame.

Editor's Comment
Happy Independence!

We are 56 years old and what do we have to show for it? Looking at where Botswana started and where it is today, there are a lot of developments, but whether the developments match the number of years we have enjoyed as a country is a topic for another day.The fact that cannot be denied is we have seen major developments, but we are still lacking in several pertinent areas.Our beautiful country imports almost everything. We import fuel, food,...

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