Friday, July 3, 2020

Ogaketse boxes his way up against odds

BY ORATILE OTSETSWE

Sports careers have a short lifespan especially the more physical codes like boxing.

This is so because there is no telling if the athlete will quit due to an injury or to pursue other life commitments. However there are athletes who are committed to the sport despite all the possibilities.

Kutlwano Ogaketse has defeated all the odds as he continues to be one of the best professional boxers in the country. Ogaketse started as a national team athlete in amateur boxing where he represented Botswana in various competitions like Africa Youth Championship, Africa Youth Games, AUSC Region 5 Games, AIBA World Boxing Youth Championship, Commonwealth Youth Games and Zone 4 Championship. In 2017 he joined professional boxing in order to alleviate his boxing career under the hands of DRAD Boxing Club.

He revealed that although he has not fought in a championship fight yet his ultimate aim is to win a mega contest. He noted that he wants to focus on building a good record in pro boxing before challenging for a title. He said his current achievements are one knockout, five wins, two losses and one draw 5-2-1(1KO).

When pugilists come to blows they are likely to fight different opponents so the boxers need to change their strategies in order to defeat against   rivals for the bragging rights. This can be stressful because some pugilists have to train more to adopt new styles of fighting.

“I am able to fight at different stages in my Pro career and even more rounds. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication going through a transformation period to augment performance. Every time I face different boxers with their unique boxing styles I do my homework on how to conquer such a particular opponent. I make lots a of adjustments. I want to inspire before I expire so that I leave my legacy” he said

 In his words of motivation to his counterparts Ogaketse said to be victorious in fights a boxer has to be prepared physically and mentally, have a remarkable game plan and pro boxers need to stop overlooking their opponents and treat all fights as important. He added that he wishes for more fire in the country as his local fans are denied an opportunity to watch him on the ringside because most of his fights are outside the country in South Africa (SA) and Swaziland.

Discussing the challenges that he faces in boxing he said, “A Pro boxer needs a head coach, strength and conditioning coach, physiotherapist, psychologist and dietitian. But in Africa and at my level we struggle financially so we normally do not have such and we use a single person to combine all the tasks. We use what is available to make the best out of it”

The lightweight boxer said it is expensive to fight professionally because their financial budget is strained by spending in paying for training, training gear and equipment, some special diets, supplements and rehydrates as well as some traveling fees to different countries.

Ogaketse said he is being sponsored by 03 Beverages since November 2018, he explained that they have not yet decided the long term of the sponsorship, but for now the

sponsor is paying for his gym training and he wears branded trunks for his bouts.

He added that boxing makes him fit And healthy so he only takes World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) tested energy drinks and protein shakes and some rehydrates so that he  do not ruin his career.

He concluded that his last fight was last month on the 15th February at SA where he registered his first loss on points. He said said that he has learnt a lot from the fight and he   is ready for the upcoming fight which his promoter will schedule for him in April.

“The best boxers enter the ring because they want everything it offers, the fights that give them a chance to prove they are as good as other pro boxers in the world. I fight for my legacy and it is a motivation for me to be helping my family and improve my lifestyle. I am a prize fighter who came from nothing, those are the things that make us who we are in life” Ogaketse said.

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Sunday Standard June 28 – 4 July

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of June 28 - 4 July, 2020.