Wednesday, January 27, 2021

New rivalries resume as boxers book places in national championships

New rivalries will be made this coming weekend as local boxers come face to face in the finals of the 2011 edition of the Keone Mooka Mageu National Boxing Championships.

After upset-filled weekend semi-final clashes that saw many elite boxers fall by the wayside, it is now every boxing follower’s guess as to who will emerge the victor at the national championships.

Apart from the monetary prizes, the gold medals and trophies that will be on offer in the finals, when the boxers come face to face come this Saturday, national pride will also be at stake as each will be looking to impress the national team technical bench with the hope of getting a nod to don the national colours. With almost all the categories having at least a new entrant and some defending champions out, the weekend’s clashes are expected to be entertaining as boxers will be out to prove that their wins over the weekend were no fluke.

Going into the weekend bouts, one of the bouts that will be closely watched will be the 81 kg category that will pit Tsenang Mohuhutso of Glen Valley Boxing Club (GVBC) against Kenny Maragana of Sir Seretse Khama Barracks (SSKB). The battle of the two heavy men of local boxing, who are both national team players, is expected to be fiery as both will be seeking to decide once and for all who should get the nod for a national team spot.

Both athletes are decorated, having won medals with the national team during their stints there. Having lost last year’s 81 kg championship category fight to Oteng Phatshwe in a lopsided match, Mohuhutso will be seeking redemption this year and beating Maragana will give him that.

Another boxer who will be out to prove a point is former national team boxer, Thato Batshegi. ‘Hands of Stone,’ as Batshegi is known has been in fine form this year and this extended to the past weekend when he ousted national team boxer Mmoloki Nogeng from the finals. Should he carry this form into the finals against Motlatsi Mokobeng in the 60kg category, local boxing fans can expect to see a very entertaining clash as both boxers seem to be in fine form. Other weekend bouts are as follows; Bathusi Mogajane vs. Motlatsi Lekgetho (49 kg), Oteng Oteng vs. Botlhe Malebekwa (52 kg), Ryan Seakolo vs. Tefo Letshikgwane (56 kg), Ofentse Kompone vs. Ookeditse Bobeilwe (64 kg), Kgomotso Gabaikanngwe vs. Keoagile Rantutu (69 kg) while Zibani Chikanda will face Lucky Mogwera in the 75 kg category. Speaking in an interview, Botswana Boxing Association (BOBA)’s Publicity and Information Secretary Willoughby Kemoen said there will be incentives for excelling boxers and officials at the championship finals.

According to the BOBA spokesperson, all the P135┬á000 sponsorship money for this year’s championship will be channelled into prizes. Bout winners are expected to walk away with P1┬á500, while runners up and bronze medallists will get P750 and P500 respectively.

Apart from the winners, Kemoen said P1┬á500 across board will also be given to the most promising boxer, best boxer, best referee and best judge while the best bout will be awarded P3┬á000. The weekend’s finals are expected to resume at 2 pm and are expected to be broadcast live on Botswana Television.

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