Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA)’s ambition of promoting women’s boxing is facing a big challenge as the number of women boxers competing in local competitions continue to dwindle.
According to BoBa spokesperson Kenny Maragana, having observed the ongoing Interclub tournament, there is indeed a steep decline in female participation in boxing, which in turn casts doubts on the development of women boxing as well as that of the association.
With budding women boxing talents such as Keamogetse Kenosi and Keneilwe Rakhudu on the public eye, Maragana said they had hoped the ongoing BoBA Interclub Tournament would bring out a competitive number of credible female boxers to compete, but that has not materialised.
The problem is exacerbated by different clubs’ failure to bring boxers of the same weight categories, which results in boxers not getting opponents for matches.
“A bout is between boxers of the same weight and if opponents from other clubs of the same weight do not show up then there will not be a match.
“In some circumstances we may find only two teams competing and that has to change, and change quickly,” said Maragana.
He said going forth, BoBA had found it of great interest to work on their calendar to include a women’s programme and “host a tournament strictly for women so that they are not left behind”.
Maragana said this was intended to show women their relevance to boxing and appreciate their interest in what is now still a male-dominated sporting code.
He further said BoBA was hoping to gain back the numbers of female boxers they had.
“The leadership will deal with the matter for the best interest of everyone involved. BoBA has a plan in place to elevate women boxers so that they also benefit like males.
“The plan is to host a women tournament which will possibly take place in June this year, on a day which is yet to be confirmed,” said Maragana.
He said while BoBA had good male boxers such as Zibani Chikanda, who is rated 10th best amateur boxer in his weight category in the world and number two in Africa, such cannot be said of the women boxers locally.
Maragana said as such, BoBA was looking for women to eventually bridge this gap so that both male and female boxers have the same platform.
Meanwhile, the interclub tournament continued this past weekend with fights staged at the BDF Village Garrison.
The highlight for the weekend’s bouts was a rare-to-see southpaw fight between the 75kg men, Kagiso Bagwasi and Mmusi Twiige. Bagwasi won the bout 2ÔÇô1.