BOBA Sends Nine Boxers To The Mandela African Boxing Cup

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Botswana Boxing Association (BOBA) has sent nine boxers to the inaugural Mandela African Boxing Cup which started on Monday in Durban, South Africa.

The ladies team consists of Phekie Bele-54kg, Keobakeng Philip-57kg, Kutlwano Sekhutlo-63kg and Kemogetse Kenosi-69kg while the men’s team was made up of Kobamelo Molatlhegi-48kg, Mmoloki Sekwaipe-57kg, Kabo Seitshiro-63.5kg, Rajab Mahomed-51kg and George Molwantwa-54kg. The team is under the tutelages of Thebe Setlalekgosi, Gibson Rauwe and Pearl Mooketsi.

The competition aims to recognise the role of South Africa’s first democratic President Nelson Mandela in his fight for liberation and to inspire young boxers to reach new heights. About 360 boxers from 41 African countries are participating in the competition and it features 12 Elite IBA Women’s Categories and 13 Elite IBA Men’s categories.

It is organised by the International Boxing Association (IBA, African Boxing Confederation (AFBC) and the South African Boxing Organization (SANABO) at a prize fund of $500,000. The competition’ semi-finals will be held on the 20th April while the finals take place on the 21st April 2024.

In an interview, BOBA Secretary General Taolo Tlouetsile said that they use this continental competition as part of their preparations for the next Olympic Qualifiers which will be held in Bangkok, Thailand from 23rd May to the 3rd June this year.

He stated that the participating boxers were selected based on their performance at the local and international levels.

“With limited funds we will never be satisfied with the level of preparations for the competition, but it is part of the game and there are no excuses, we have a team of capable boxers,” he said.

IBA Secretary General and CEO, Chris Roberts has said, “Let us take Mandela’s dedication to boxing a strong inspiration for young generations and glorify his name through the Mandela Cup to make it a yearly tradition.”

It is reported that when incarcerated as a political prisoner during apartheid South Africa, Mandela practiced boxing as a means of self-discipline and to support his mental health, calling the sport “egalitarian”, due to its ability to transcend race, religion and wealth.

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