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GLOBAL BOXING JUGGERNAUT ARRIVES

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Botswana boxing is set to experience a seismic shift after international boxing promoter, Scott Patrick Farrell arrived in the country recently. A no nonsense businessman with a clear vision for his international boxing promotion, Global Boxing Stars, Farrell is adamant that he will take Botswana boxing to the next level.

Having conquered the Asian boxing market as the Chiefs Executive Officer of Ringstar Asia, Farrell has hit the ground in full sprint and set will up three high profile boxing promotions between September and early 2020. Already a rock star among the global boxing community, the British national has already rubbed shoulders with global power players like Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Oscar De La Hoya and legendary promoter Bob Arum.

Coming across as an easy going and yet shrewd businessman, Farrell is adamant that he is not after fame as he is already a respected businessman and promoter on a global scale. The promoter, who frequently preaches the importance of hard work, said part of his vision is to discover raw talent in Botswana and help to usher in Botswana’s first world champion in the space of two years. Global Boxing Stars is already working with established boxing stars like the four-time Namibian boxing champion Paulus ‘The Rock’ Ambunda who recently competed at a PBC international boxing showpiece in Las Vegas, USA.

Farrell’s suave business acumen has seen him snatch another big name to GBS after signing another Namibian super star Lucas ‘Desert Storm’ Sakaria who commands a perfect record of 22 win and 0 losses. The aptly named Desert Storm is expected to compete in the first show held by GBS at the Molapo Piazza in Gaborone. Farrell’s laser focused business acumen has helped him discover the richly fertile soil that is Botswana boxing. The International boxing promoter is just what the doctor ordered for the struggling and recently registered professional sport code in the country.

Farrell plans to turn Botswana boxing into a global player using the same business model that helped him leave a footprint of 500 million viewers across Asian countries like Singapore, Malaysia, and The Philippines. One of Farrell’s trump cards in the boxing game is his association with future boxing hall of famer and the only eight-time world champion Manny Pacquaio of the Philippines. Farrell has already co-promoted with the legendary Pacquiao in the Philippines and the dynamic duo are currently working on their next promotion in the pacific island nation. Currently, the promoter is working closely with Pacquiao’s influential match maker Sean Gibbons.

Gibbons is responsible for matching Pacquiao and his next foe Keith Thurman in Las Vegas welterweight showdown next month. In Botswana, Farrell, a former amateur boxing in his native Britain has already identified a roster of local young boxers he will be willing to sign in Botswana.

Part of Farrell’s plan is to work with local promoters, managers and trainers to nurture and groom local talent for bigger and better things. “The first show here in Botswana will be on September 7th at the Stanbic Piazza and it will feature former champions and undefeated contenders. I assure you, anyone that knows me is sure the fans will be excited by the world class promotion and ultimate boxing event experience,” Farrell said in an interview with Sun Sports this week.

Farrell who left Ringstar Asia recently said there were differences between him and the company shareholders. However, Farrell says he remains an international boxing promoter and plans to take Botswana boxing to international viewers. Meanwhile, Farrell said he has already met local sports authorities and promoters and thus far they have acknowledged his presence and received him warmly.

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Local hockey body to incur massive financial loss post Covid-19

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Botswana Hockey Association (BHA) President Unaswi Matebu has confessed that her Association will suffer major financial losses post the Covid 19 pandemic that has left the sport fraternity at a standstill.

Matebu recently told this publication that the current situation does not only have tremendous effects on their schedule, but also there will be financial implications more especially that the association does not have full time sponsors.

“We had to cancel most of our calendar activities such as tournaments, national team trainings, Board meetings, and club activities since mid-March this year, all of which have cost us money to prepare for,” Matebu remarked in an interview.

Additionally she said the planning phase for their 5-year Development Plan which was supposed to be launched in June will have to be postponed. Also there are national competitions that were postponed till further notice despite them having already set up teams and having already started preparing.

“Our Indoor Hockey Senior National teams had already started preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations – a World Cup qualifier – that was supposed to be held in June, 2020, in South Africa. Our Field Hockey Senior National teams had already begun preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers that were supposed to be held in August, 2020 in Zimbabwe,” she added.

Moreover, it was going to be an excessively detailed and decorated year  for local hockey governing body, with the Youth National teams having  already began preparations for the Africa Youth Championships that were billed for September, 2020, in Ghana.

“Player conditioning has obviously been affected because athletes are currently not training as planned and what we had achieved so far might go to waste. We are only hoping that the Continental and World Hockey governing bodies will give us enough time to prepare for these competitions post the pandemic.”

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BFA will not declare the season null and void – yet

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Amidst wide spreading fears that Botswana’s top flight league might be canceled and considered null and void because of the crippling Covid-19 pandemic, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) has yet to make a determination on the matter and has in fact ruled out scrapping off the season altogether.

Local football observers and pundits alike have already started talking of the possibilities after similar considerations of nullifying their seasons were made in the leagues of other countries especially in Europe.  No football activity has taken place in the country since social distancing measures were imposed to avoid the spread of the corona virus.

Local football pundit Fabian Zulu is one of those who believe there is a likelihood the football season will be nullified. “If the current situation persists, then there is a high possibility of declaring the league null and void. This situation wasn’t planned, no one knew that by now we would be facing this kind of situation; so the possibility is very high.

However, in an interview this week, BFA spokesperson Tumo Mpatane said the association has not considered canceling and nullifying the season as an option yet, adding that “currently we are observing a period of extreme social distancing, the ministry  of health and wellness will obviously give advice on the possibility of getting back to football.”

Consequently the BFA still awaits the Ministry to declare that the risks of spreading the virus are reduced and come up with a contingency plan. “If the ministry says there is a reduced health risk we will play out the season; if they advise against it we will then see what steps to take. The health of our players is more important and we will be guided by the responsive authorities,” Mpatane remarked.

However, suspension or cancellation of the leagues across the world seems inevitable even as some European leagues, more specifically the English Premier League, are now contemplating a behind-closed-doors campaign to finish off the remaining matches.

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