The Rose rel­ishes new role in box­ing

CityPress - - Sport - PULE MOKHINE pmokhine@city­press.co.za

Din­gaan “The Rose of Soweto” Tho­bela has wel­comed his elec­tion as the in­terim chair­per­son of the Na­tional Pro­mot­ers As­so­ci­a­tion com­mit­tee.

He prom­ises to con­trib­ute to­wards mak­ing box­ing as vi­brant as it was dur­ing “my box­ing days”.

The for­mer World Box­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion, World Box­ing As­so­ci­a­tion light­weight and World Box­ing Coun­cil su­per-mid­dleweight cham­pion was drafted to rep­re­sent the Gaut­eng struc­ture. The com­mit­tee con­sists of seven peo­ple drawn from the re­spec­tive prov­inces ( see box).

Mpumalanga and Western Cape are yet to sub­mit the names of their rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

The tem­po­rary struc­ture will spear­head the process to­wards the es­tab­lish­ment of a per­ma­nent na­tional as­so­ci­a­tion.

This came out of the pro­mot­ers’ work­shop hosted by Box­ing SA (BSA) at the SABC’s Auck­land Park of­fices in Johannesburg a

fort­night ago. The sem­i­nar laid a firm foun­da­tion from which a na­tional box­ing pro­mo­tions body can grow and thrive.

The in­terim struc­ture has been ear­marked to get box­ing back to where it was be­fore, when many more fights were staged.

And Tho­bela be­lieves his in­put as the mouth­piece for pro­mot­ers will help usher in a re­turn to the glory days.

“Box­ing was rated as the num­ber two sport in the coun­try, af­ter soc­cer, dur­ing my time as a fighter, but has sadly dropped out of the top 10.

“We want to take the sport back to where it be­longs, which is on the pin­na­cle,” said Tho­bela.

He said working closely with BSA as pro­mot­ers, they would put to­gether a struc­ture that would rekin­dle the in­ter­est of fighters, spon­sors, fans and ev­ery­one who con­trib­uted to­wards the “love of the sport”.

The Rose said they would work closely with BSA to help send through their pro­pos­als to get more television dates that would at­tract more spon­sors.

“We are re­quest­ing the cor­po­rate world to open up their doors when we come knock­ing,” he said.

Tho­bela has also been elected trea­surer of the new Gaut­eng Pro­mot­ers As­so­ci­a­tion. Vet­eran pro­moter Obed Molekwa is the chair­per­son, while An­dre Thysse is his deputy.

The Rose co-owns a box­ing pro­mot­ing body called TLB with erst­while global ti­tlists Lehlo­honolo “Hands of Stone” Led­waba and Jan “Kid Gav­i­lan” Bergman.

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