Boxing newbies too hot to handle
Only formed in February this year, Diamond Boxing Club came of age in Ghetto this weekend, dominating the BoBA Club Championship Preliminary Games in their first ever official appearance.
The newly-established Gaborone-based outfit beat off competition from 12 other clubs, punching their way to nine points in an action-packed two-days at BDF Donga, where 59 boxers took to the ring.
Lagging way behind on five points apiece, Selibe Phikwe sluggers EMG and Prisons were tied in second place, while defending champions, Francistown BDF finished in a disappointing ninth.
Of the seven fighters BDC sent to the second-city, five qualified for the Club Championship Finals, which will take place in Gaborone Technical College (GTC) this weekend.
Turning out in the U/67kg weight division, Boifang Kenaope proved too good for the rest, as did Mmoloki Thipi in the U/60kg category. The hard-hitting duo will be confident of grabbing gold in GC, as they face-off against their defeated final opponents again in Saturday’s grand finale.
Their teammates, Shatiso Makhani U/71kg and Tebogo Renny U/63kg progressed to the finals in second place and will be desperate to go one better in the capital.
Young, Kgosi Mosimawakoko U/48kg meanwhile was one of several boxers not to taste any action, being the only entrant in their weight division.
Speaking to Voice Sport, BDC Coach, Bokamoso Molaodi, revealed his boys had been working towards this competition for ten months, ever since the club was set-up.
“The club is new but the athletes have been there all along. All we had to do was to polish them to become top athletes, which seems to be working. Despite being the best performing club at the preliminaries, there is still a lot to be done. The other three athletes need to push themselves in training if we want to be victorious at the finals,” mused Molaodi.
With numerous new faces on show, the semi-finals proved an exciting affair, full of shocks and thrilling bouts, with more than one national team regular falling to surprise defeats.
One of the day’s standout matches took place in the U/57kg category, where BMC and Botswana boxer, George Molwantwa fell to One/Two/ Five Boxing Club’s, Kago Raokgathile. The pair exchanged blow after blow in a breathtaking battle of strength and speed, with Raokgathile awarded the fight 4-1. They will go again in the final, with fireworks expected.
Reflecting on a successful event, Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) President, Gilbert Khunwane explained such championships were crucial to the sport’s development, more so that it helps them pick the national squad.
“So far, so good. We are happy with the display the boxers have shown, including the technicalities and the endurance. The tournament was a success and it also came with a lot of surprises which we welcome also,” said Khunwane.