Daily Dispatch

Plans afoot to revamp boxing


THE government is prioritisi­ng the revamping of South African boxing to ensure the country continues to produce champions in the various credible world organisati­ons, including getting the once popular sport back on national television.

This is the promise made by Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula, who said they have started the process of turning the fight game around by meeting the leadership of both amateur and profession­al boxing in South Africa.

“Sport and Recreation South Africa has met with both the South African National Amateur Boxing Organisati­on (Sanabo) and Boxing South Africa (BSA) to devise a turnaround plan for the sport in South Africa.

“Some of the things we are dealing with include strengthen­ing BSA by among other things finance and the direct deployment of personnel at BSA.

“We are also looking at strategies to support the work of Sanabo through strengthen­ing their financial capacity and human capital.”

Mbalula said his department was also developing a strategy to promote South African women’s boxing to ensure that more fighters come through the developmen­t ranks and challenge for world titles.

Currently, Mbalula’s department has been giving support to Internatio­nal Boxing Federation welterweig­ht female champion Noni Tenge.

The department is also looking at being involved in her defence of the title because women’s boxing lacks financial muscle.

Tenge was presented with a car by Mbalula at the end of last year to enable her to attend training sessions without having to rely on public transport.

“Women’s boxing will feature at the Olympics in London for the first time this year.

“We have three boxers who are in China taking part in the qualifiers for the Olympics,” the minister said.

“We will make an announceme­nt on the support for women’s boxing very soon.”

On the issue of live television coverage for boxing, Mbalula said negotiatio­ns were at an advanced stage to get the sport back on the small screen.

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