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Bond Boxing stable makes strides

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BIG SHOW: Pro boxers shined during The Voyage

Professional boxing continues to show growth in the local scene four years since the new sport code officially became an affiliate of the Botswana National Sports Commission. Leading the charge is the Gaborone based Bond Boxing Stable which held a successful boxing card this past weekend.

The box and dine card featured four professional matches and two amateur bouts. In an interview with Sun Sports this week, prolific boxing promoter, Bond Ngubula said there are signs of growth as local sports enthusiasts are starting to warm up to professional boxing.

“I can say that there is growth as we brought two new sponsors into our event this past weekend. Unfortunately, one of our would be sponsors dropped out at the last moment, leaving us with a deficit,” he said. Ngubula said the numbers were impressive compared to the previous event they held at Boipuso Hall earlier this year.

“There were about 200 seats and almost all of them were filled. Unfortunately, we did not sell many corporate tables compared to our previous event. Nevertheless, not all the seats were paid for, we have stakeholders that require complimentary tickets.

This means about 50 tickets were complimentary,” he said. Quizzed on how his stable acquires sponsorship in the harsh economic climate, Ngubula said it all boils down to how he packages his product. “One of our worst events was held at the Gaborone City Council hall, which turned out to be a poor venue. The event was not of good quality so it did not attract sponsorship.”

Ngubula says since he is a private company, there is no need to consult many people when making decisions and seeking sponsorship. Ngubula argued that the problem of sponsorship drought plaquing many sport codes is that they remain as societies and this has a bearing on how they run their business.

In societies many people need to be consulted and meetings have to be held before a decision is taken. The boxing promoter gave an example of Premier League champions, Township Rollers who have since taken the route of privatization. “It is important to engage sponsors and provide them with maximum mileage.

We keep on engaging our sponsors on all media platforms. We call them whenever we do interviews in the media. The stable also coaches the boxers on self-branding and how to behave in public.”
Ngubula said he was impressed with how his three boxers competed on the night.

Our super bantamweight, Thabiso Mpolokang showed improvement while our event boxers, Tshepiso Mokgadi lost to Zimbabwean rival, Philip Musariri in a very close fight. The next Bond boxing promotion is scheduled for March or April next year.

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Zapata takes charge

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TAKING CHARGE: Zapata assumes his position

Township Rollers Head Coach Rodolfo Zapata was this past Tuesday in charge of the team’s training session, a first since he was appointed Rollers coach in November 2018.

Sun Sports has been reliably informed by sources that were present at the morning session that the Argentine coach was at the grounds and it was all clear that he is now the man in control of the team.

Zapata was made to jump through hoops before he could finally take over the reins at Rollers. First he had to battle with his former club, Gaborone United to cancel his active working permit with the team. The matter dragged for more than a month.

When GU finally gave in, Zapata’s qualifications as a coach were questioned. This came as shocking given that Zapata is GU’s former coach. Nevertheless, a source within Botswana Football Association (BFA) circles has told this paper that Zapata was cleared by CAF last week. As things stand Zapata will be expected on the bench this coming Friday when they play Notwane. If not, then his first job will be the Mascom Top 8 Semi-final against GU next week.

The Rollers management could not be reached yesterday as their phones rang unanswered and repeated efforts revealed that the team spokesperson, Bafana Pheto is currently across borders.
Meanwhile, Zapata’s arrival comes at a crucial time following Rollers ‘s embarrassing defeat to the hands of rivals Jwaneng Galaxy this past weekend. Galaxy cut short the endless winning streak of the defending championships to serve them their second loss since the beginning of the league with a score line of 3-1.

Of late , unconfirmed reports suggest that players had grown impatient with the caretaker coach, Thabo Motang. They differed and questioned his decisions on the pitch. Motang is now reported to have gone back to the department he knows best, goalkeeper coach.

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Moluba wants a replica of previous success

Tshepo Kehemile

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PLAY MAKER: Moalosi is a prolific goal scorer

Township Rollers influential midfielder, Edwin Moalosi confirmed his ambitions to help his team to repeat their run in the previous season to win both Botswana Telecommunication (BTC) Premiership league and the Mascom Top 8. Moluba as he is affectionately known said this after their 3-1 loss to Jwaneng Galaxy at the National Stadium this past Saturday.

Rollers 2018/19 BTC league campaign have been impressive thus far as they are still at the summit of the log despite their loss over the weekend. The Galaxy loss was their second, having lost to the other mining team, Orapa United. However, they have already reached the semi-finals of the Mascom Top 8.

Moalosi told Sun Sport that this season is not going to be a walk in the path, “It is not easy being the defending Champions as you become the team to beat, every team will try hard not to give you space to play or attack hence all the games we play become a mammoth task,” said Moalosi.

Moalosi further stated that being eliminated from the Confederations of African Football (CAF) Champions league early was a blessing in disguise, “We are now out of the CAF Champions league and we can now focus on doing well in the domestic league and cup tournament (Mascom Top 8).

In addition, we need to double our efforts as players so that we reach our ultimate goals,” he said.
Quizzed about his individual goals as a player despite picking so many injuries this season, he said, “Injuries are part of the game, it only depends on every player as to how you respond to it, I am always positive regardless of the circumstances I come across. I want to increase my goal tally and hopefully improve my assists as well,” explained.

However, Jwaneng Galaxy Captain, Olebogeng Malebye who scored a marvellous curler on the day said they are going to give Rollers a run for their money this season, “We are going to fight to death to try and leapfrog Rollers and eventually win the league as it has been our aim for a long time. And finally, we managed to beat them after a very long time trying with no success,” said Malebye.

Jwaneng Galaxy’s season is slowly improving as they are now second on the log, and Orapa United seems to be struggling a bit but the league is still open. Another round of BTC Premiership league matches is expected to continue this coming weekend with a couple of interesting fixtures to look out to including Township Rollers and Notwane FC on Friday at Molepolole and Security Systems and Mochudi Centre Chiefs on Saturday at the same venue, just to mention a few.

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