The Mahalapye Prisons Staff College will be turned into a boxing battleground this weekend as local pugilists are set to trade leather to book themselves a place in this year’s Botswana National Boxing championships.
The weekend’s boxing action, which will start on Saturday and end on Sunday, will pit against each other this year’s best performing boxers to see who will make the grade to fight in both the National Championships, which will be held on November 19th as well as the Best of the Best tournament to be held on December 3rd.
Speaking in an interview, BOBA’s Publicity and Information Secretary, Willoughby Kemoen, said the weekend’s action will include the preliminary fights, the quarter finals as well as the semi-finals.
Kemoen said that at the end of the two day boxing event 16 boxers will have booked themselves a place in the National Championships. If the past year is anything to go by, then the residents of Mahalapye are in for an action packed weekend that is full of surprises.
“We are expecting this weekend’s action to be very tough and full of surprises and upsets as boxers will be jostling for national pride and victory. We are expecting to have at least 46 boxers fighting in 23 bouts to decide for themselves who will make the finals,” Kemoen said.
While national pride has been the only incentive for boxers since Botswana Breweries Limited (BBL) left, this year will be different as BOBA is said to be expecting to have a new sponsor on board by the end of the week.
Though details are still sketchy as to who the new sponsor will be, it is expected that apart from winning medals, boxers who make it to the finals will stand a chance of walking away with prize monies, courtesy of the new sponsor.
Going into the weekend’s boxing action, some of the categories that will be interesting to look into will be the 56 kg category, which boasts the likes of Tirafalo Seoko, Alphions Farmer and the upcoming Ryan Seokolo. Unlike his most illustrious opponents, the latter is considered a wildcard and maybe be a possible contender to cause an upset.
Another category that is likely to catch the eye is the 75 kg category, which has, among others, the experienced duo of Kenny Maragana and Zibane Chikanda.
Meanwhile, BOBA says it will use the weekend as a home coming ceremony to honour one of the country’s illustrious boxers Oteng Oteng. The 21-year-old Mookane born boxer, who currently holds gold medals from both the All Africa Games and the Zone 4 Championships, is also a 2010 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist as well as Botswana’s reining Boxer of the year.
“The purpose is to celebrate his achievement and to present him to his people. We as Botswana boxing wish to salute this courageous youngster who has a lot of potential in his boxing carrier. We want to encourage and recognize his talent,” Kemoen said.
Oteng’s homecoming ceremony will be held at the main Kgotla on Saturday while the weekend boxing action will start at 4 pm on the same day.