SA boxers fail to qualify for Olympics

Boxing gloves (File)
Boxing gloves (File)

Cape Town - For the first time since the 1912 Stockholm Games, there will be no South African boxer in the Olympic ring, as reported by the Sowetan.

Seven South African boxers travelled to the AIBA World Olympic Qualification tournament in Baku, which started on Thursday (June 16) and all came back failing to qualify for the Rio Olympic Games, which is scheduled to commence in August.

Light flyweight Sibusiso Bandla was the only redeemer as he reached the quarter-finals, but took the full count and lost to Devendro Laishram, as all three judges scored 30-27 for the Indian boxer.

In South Africa's Olympic history, boxing happens to be the country's second most successful sport in the medal tally, behind Athletics. South African boxers have punched their way to 19 Olympic medals in total with six of them gold.

Failing to qualify for the Olympics is just one of the many issues that have transpired in boxing over the past few decades and although it's still prevalent, SA has failed to get an Olympic podium position since post-apartheid.

This is a worrying circumstance, especially when looking back at South Africa's rich boxing history, where the country has won 135 'world' titles and produced some of the greatest boxing legends, such as Cassius Baloyi, Zolani Marali and 'Baby' Jake Matlala.

There is some light at the end of the tunnel, as South Africa won four International Boxing Organisation (IBO) titles in 2015, although they weren't major tournaments.

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