Thursday, July 18, 2024

COVID-19 has pro-boxing organisers on the ropes

In two weeks, Botswana will write her own professional boxing history as two local boxers will battle it out for a coveted international title fight.

Under normal circumstances, one would have expected the upcoming historic title fight to be a boon for professional local boxers and promoters.

However, the organisers of the event, Scud Promotions, are on the ropes as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to punch hard.

In a cruel twist of fate, Scud Promotions has decided to forfeit the idea of monetizing the event by selling tickets to spectators.

Onkarabile Mothibedi

Speaking in an interview, Thuso ‘Scud’ Khubamang of Scud Promotions informed The Telegraph Sport that the limit on numbers of people allowed to attend events will not allow them to have spectators.

Under the prevailing COVID-19 prevention protocols, only 50 people are allowed at an event or a meeting.

“if we add the numbers of personnel needed for the bouts, which include boxers and their teams, referees, doctors, emergency personnel and ring girls, just to mention a few, you will realise it almost surpasses the number of people allowed in an event,” he says.

“Add to this number representatives of our various event sponsors as well as the official broadcast television crew and the number far surpasses the allowed number,” Khubamang explains.

As such, he says as the organisers, they took a hard but painful decision to only invite companies and corporates to attend the historic event.

“While we stand to lose the monies we could have gained through ticket sales, we also know that by invite companies and corporates as a future investment,” explains Khubamang.

“We want these companies to understand and develop interest in the sport of professional boxing so they can sponsor our future events,” he says.

Challenges aside, Khubamang says preparations for the upcoming event are going according to plan.

He says so far, a lot of companies are showing interest in partnering them for the historic boxing fiesta.

“So far, we have managed to get a few sponsors in our corner. A few others are also showing some interest and negotiations are ongoing,” he says.

On the health front, Khubamang says the organisers are working hard to ensure the event complies with the set COVID 19 prevention protocols.

He says they are always in consultations with the doctors, more especially those usually engaged by Professional Boxing Association of Botswana for guidance.

“The good thing is that all the boxers slated to take part in the event are locals. This makes our job easier more especially with regards to testing,” he says.

Khubamang went on to add that the expectation is that three days before the event, all boxers should have tested for COVID 19 and submitted their results.

“Once they have tested and submitted results, and provided no one has tested positive, we believe there will be no threat of anyone else contracting the disease during the bouts,” he says.

He went on to say as the organisers, they are optimistic they will give Batswana a spectacle.

“The bouts will be broadcast live on Botswana Television and we hope Batswana will be able to witness this historic event,” concludes Khubamang.


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