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Pro boxers geared for Fight Night

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Local professional boxing supporters and enthusiasts are expected to throng the Big 5 lodge in Mogoditshane on September 29th for the Independence eve Fight Night event. The professional boxing card featuring five actions packed bouts is organised by Melroy promotions under the Professional Boxing Association of Botswana (PBAB).

The main event for the night will feature four times national champion and super bantamweight prospect Onkarabile Mothibedi. Mothibedi will be facing experienced South African Thamasanqa Cele in what is expected to be an epic 6 rounds of boxing at 55.3kg. In an interview this week, the taciturn local boxing sensation said he was positive to continue where he left off after defeating Zambian Bernard Mwango in a closely contested four rounder. Mothibedi, who is currently on training camp, said his coach Larona Francis has since intensified their program to fit the longer six round bouts.

Mothibedi commands respect and a huge following among the boxing community in Botswana.“ My ambition is to compete at the highest levels in the professional ranks. My boxing idol is the great Floyd Mayweather and I want to emulate his legendary pro boxing record,” said the ambitious Mothibedi. Nevertheless Mothibedi who hails from Goodhope in the Barolong district said he was aware that his opponent is a closed book but this did not faze him due to the training game plan his coach was cooking up.

In an interview this week Professional Boxing Associations of Botswana (PBAB) president Tsietsi ‘Shakes’ Kebualemang said they were happy to sanction the Independence boxing event. “Melroy has applied, we have met them and they submitted some documents and we have given them green light to advertise the event. As soon as they satisfy all the requirements, we will sign a contract,” Kebualemang said. Moreover, Tsietsi said professional boxing was growing rapidly in Botswana as they are expected to sanction about three boxing cards before the end of the year.

The under cards for the night includes a welterweight bout featuring Tshepiso Mokgadi and Alex Thobela of SA. National team hero and 2013 Commonwealth Youth games Bronze medallist Robby Botshelo will be making his debut against SA’s Ramaliba Fhulufhelo in the middleweight division. The other two bouts will feature Bond boxing promotion stars Thato Monabana vs Thabiso Mpolokeng and Tshepo Khutloeng vs Maiketso Moreki. The tickets include corporate at P4000, VIP atP500 and a general ticket P100.Event sponsors include Bokone Reticulation and Electrical Systems (BRES), Extramile Express, La Santé restaurant, Joy foundation and Ayin media flow.

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Local boxers ready for regional tourney

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CONFIDENT: Newly unveiled LOC is confident that the regional tourney will be a success

Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) this past Tuesday officially unveiled a Local Organising Committee (LOC) that has been tasked with preparing for the upcoming Zone 4 championships that are to be held in Botswana.

The team is headed by celebrated boxing legend France Mabiletsa and is expected to host more than seven countries that are expected to descend in Botswana in the next two weeks. Officiating at the event, Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) Vice Chairperson Tsoseletso Magang said that BoBA officials should refrain from interfering with the task given to the LOC. She noted that many sporting codes often give the LOC the responsibility of delivering an event only for the code members to bully themselves into the affairs of the LOC and disrupts the preparations.

Magang warned that there is little time left before the tournament, and with that, the LOC will need all the support to ensure they deliver a successful event. She noted that hosting the regional tournament gave Botswana an upper hand of fielding more athletes that will have an opportunity to qualify for the Africa Championships scheduled for later this year.

For his part, Mabiletsa noted that they have already hit the ground running and confident that the event will be a success. The competition will be hosted in Botho College and they are in talks with Ave Maria to accommodate athletes. “Life will be made much easier for athletes if they are accommodated at Ave Maria because it is closer to the competition venue,” he said.

He explained that the zone is made up of 12 countries of Lesotho, Angola, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe among others. However as of this past Tuesday, only seven had confirmed participation and they expect to finalize the logistics by the end of the week.

Meanwhile, a formidable national boxing team of eight men captained by Mmusie Tswiiige (60kg) and three ladies led by Lethabo Modukanele (48kg) will represent the country at the regional tournament.

According to the Head coach Lechedzani ‘Master’ Luza, the team has been on camp for the past three weeks. In his opinion, the team is ready to compete. “Generally, they are not bad, we need to work on a few things such as power and speed on some boxers, the defence department is also not bad,” he said.

Luza noted that Botswana has always established herself as a powerhouse and there is no doubt that majority, if not all team Botswana members will win a medal during competition time. He explained that the competition was one of the many leading to Tokyo 2020 Olympics and will give local boxers an opportunity to qualify for the Olympics.

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Branch does it again

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Local motorcycle racing sensation Ross Branch has continued his stellar form after securing overall second position in the internationally renowned Merzouga Rally. The race came to a conclusion this past weekend and Branch has proven his mettle amongst some of the best rally motorcyclists in the world.

The podium finish is expected to take the Dakar Rally racer to even greater heights in the hugely competitive and expensive sport. It has been barely two months since the talented local rider emerged as a top class racer at the Dakar Rally where he finished 13 and walked away with the fastest rookie of the 10 000 km odyssey.

At Merzouga, things seemed a little better for the rider as the terrain offer sand and rock as opposed to the treacherous dunes in Dakar. Branch who was using a different navigation system in Morocco showed his pace after winning the fourth stage of the race last week Thursday.

Prior to his podium finish Branch said Merzouga was only his second rally and he was willing to learn from some of the top riders in the sport. The KTM 450cc rider said he was now setting his sights on other major races including the 2020 Dakar Rally that has been confirmed for Saudi Arabia.

Since returning from the Dakar, Ross has stayed busy and competed at the cross-country championship in Kwazulu Natal in South Africa, where he finished fourth. The local rider is expected to compete at the upcoming 1000 km Toyota Desert Race, an event he has won more than seven times.

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