One of Botswana’s professional boxers, Lesley Sekotswe, is reported to be recuperating after hurting his ribs while training in South Africa. Information reaching Sunday Standard is that the injury has robbed Sekotswe, one of the prestigious fights he was supposed to feature in on Friday.
Sekotswe was supposed to defend his WBC title he won earlier this year and that injury has given his opponent automatic victory.
Efforts to get hold of Sekotswe were futile at the time of going to press.
Since joining professional ranks in South Africa a year and half ago, Sekotswe has won all his fights and even earned sponsorship from one of South Africa’s big companies, Converse.
Sekotswe’s injury has been confirmed by his trainer, Nick Durandt. Durandt told Sunday Standard that he decided to pull Sekotswe out of the bout mainly for his own safety.
“The injury is not that serious but for health reasons, I had to pull him out so that he takes time to heal. Also taking into consideration that he is championship material, we had to protect his image so that he remains a deserved champion,” said Durandt who was speaking from Las Vegas in the USA.
Durandt’s gym is considered one of the most intense because it produces most of South Africa’s champions.
However, a source that preferred anonymity told Sunday Standard that it is not surprising to hear about Sekotswe’s injury because the upcoming bout was a make or break fight.
“It is tough out there and you really have to be championship material. Your career can easily end there because their sparing is really tough. For instance, look at that world champion, Philip Ndou; his career ended at Durandt’s gym and our guys have to be very careful,” the source said.
One of the local professional promoters, Thuso Khubamang, expressed dismay at Sekotswe’s injury adding that it happened at the wrong time.
“I actually received the message yesterday from one local professional boxer also based in South Africa, Kgotla Baeti. I then contacted Sekotswe who also confirmed the injury to me. Looking at the fact that Sekotswe is doing well and the injury happened when he was about to fight, it is so sad. In addition, the title he was going to defend is very important and it was going to raise his boxing profile,” he said. Sekotswe, together with Baeti, are the only two professional boxers based in South Africa and they have since raised the country’s flag aloft.
Baeti is the one who always attracts a lot of media attention. Of his 15 fights to date, he has only lost one. Boxing experts compare him to the former legend Mike Tyson. This is because most of Baeti’s fights are rarely won on points but rather on technical knockouts (TKOs).
Nevertheless, Khubamang still continues with his efforts to take local professional boxers for tournaments in South Africa. A month ago, he took another promising boxer, Peter Pelane, to a tournament in Bloemfontein. Although Pelane lost on a split decision to a Free State Province champion, he is considered a future gem.
Also just last weekend, Khubamang took other two boxers to professional tournaments in Johannesburg where they did well. The duo of Seroba Binda and Dintwa Sloca did well and, in future, they might also be based in South Africa.
Khubamang told Sunday Standard that several amateur local boxers also want to turn professional. He would not reveal the names, but he said the boxers have shown much interest.