Official grilled about boxing in NC

2016-06-22 06:00
WBF intercontinental junior welterweight champion, Nkululeko Mhlongo, giving a talk at the Mayibuye Cultural Centre.  INSERT: WBF/ABU junior lightweight champion, Koos Sibiya, sharing his experiences.  Photos: Boipelo Mere

WBF intercontinental junior welterweight champion, Nkululeko Mhlongo, giving a talk at the Mayibuye Cultural Centre. INSERT: WBF/ABU junior lightweight champion, Koos Sibiya, sharing his experiences. Photos: Boipelo Mere

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A DISCUSSION between boxers, promoters and coaches at the Mayibuye Cultural Centre on Friday, 10 June, saw the status of boxing in the Northern Cape being put under the spotlight.

Questions were directed at the official representing the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, David Lesetedi, regarding various MECs who have failed to address the challenges faced by local boxers.

According to Boxing South Africa representative Kenneth Hlakudi, boxing in the province is not where it should be.

Hlakudi pointed out to Lesetedi, who tried to assure them that boxing was a priority sport, how Kimberley used to be the hub of boxing in the country.

“We are underdeveloped and feel that it is about time that there must be a budget for professional boxing and for developing boxing. Government officials must also be educated on boxing so that we are not faced with the task of struggling to win the department over,” said Hlakudi.

He related the incident of when they had to travel to a tournament and the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture failed to prepare for their trip in time.

“We only realised at the eleventh hour that we were faced with the possibility of cancelling the trip, since we were not covered on the day when we were supposed to depart.

“We ended up approaching the premier’s office for assistance and they funded us.

“Officials need to be educated on how expensive it is to run a sport such as boxing in order for them to take us seriously.

“Boxing is sidelined, while skateboarding received a whopping R3 million,” he said.

Lesetedi assured the delegates that his office at the department, which represents the Francis Baard District, was empowered to assist all sporting codes where it could and that it operated with an open door policy.

He said that the Francis Baard structures were not expected to take a knock, as most boxers were from this region.

The session saw WBF intercontinental junior welterweight champion Nkululeko Mhlongo and WBF/ABU junior lightweight champion Koos Sibiya give motivational talks and lessons to local boxers on how to become professionals in the sport.

Mhlongo urged them to regard boxing not only as a sport, but as a business.

He further advised boxers to shy away from lifting weights, as it tends to slow down their performance.

“That is when you will end up being a punching bag for your opponents,” emphasised Mhlongo.

By committing themselves fully to exercise, jogging and staying disciplined, according to Mhlongo, is the key to keeping boxers fit.

He said it was important to stick to the basics and not to try new things in the ring, as it lead to boxers losing their fights.

“Never, ever try to imitate another boxer when you are in the ring, no matter if it is your hero. Before you try a new move or trick inside the ring, ensure that you practised it thoroughly before you perform it as your unique move,” he said.

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