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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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Well-endowed Galaxy

Isaac Pheko

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FIRE POWER: Galaxy await Rollers

It is only the third week of the 2018/19 BTC Premiership and things are already heating up. Leading the charge is a marauding Jwaneng Galaxy who have already thrown a heavy-handed gauntlet at their rivals after recording a highly impressive 10 goals in just two games.

Galaxy’s intention has been made clear this season after leaving their first two opponents with bloody noses and tails tucked between their legs. The former Mascom Top 8 champions are in a relentless war path with the premier league title on their radar. This weekend, Galaxy host bitter rivals Township Rollers in Jwaneng in what is expected to be a football grudge match. Rollers have been a prickly thorn in Galaxy’s quest to claim the premiership silverware for the past two seasons.

This means the weekend fixture will be the most compelling of the new season. However, Galaxy seem to be packing more heat coming into the Saturday fixture having annihilated both Prisons XI (5-0) and Security Systems (5-0). Galaxy are currently occupying first position alongside second place Sharps Shooting Stars at six points apeice. The game against Popa this weekend will be a litmus test for Galaxy. If the Debswana backed side beats the reigning champions they will establish themselves as potential contenders for the 2018/19 title honours. On the flipside, a loss against Rollers will only mean the first two games were short of a bluff.

Pound for pound Mapalastina have the best squad in the domestic league but a new look Galaxy are well endowed in their own right. In an interview this week, Galaxy spokesperson Tankiso Morake said they played Rollers three times last season and all the games ended in a draw. “Remember we played Rollers in the Mascom Top 8 in Lobatse,” an up-beat Morake said. Morake further said they expected their new coach to receive his permits and start manning the bench when they play Rollers this weekend. “Our supporters have told us that they expected nothing less than league honours this season.” Morake attributes the positive result to a great pre-season.

“You will remember that there was a fake list in the media indicating that we have parted ways with most of our players. You can see that the likes of Ayanda Molefe and Isaac Paeye are still part of the team. There is a lot of competition in our team because we mostly have young players in the team including Lebogang Ditsile who played at Highlands Park in South Africa.” Furthermore, Morake conceded that Rollers are a strong team but argued that they will win the games from the technical bench. “You will remember that we started the last season back tracking but this time things are different.”

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Bridge team fails to impress

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The local team comprised of under 16, under 21 and under 26 categories. In an interview this week, BBF spokesperson Mbakiso Malilo did not mince his words when he described the team’s performance as terrible with all the three teams failing to qualify for the quarter finals.

“Making it to the quarter finals was our target following a good showing in the online championship by our junior team. I believe we can work on improving the playing standard for kids (under 16) as they still stand a chance to compete in the under 21 and under 26 categories for future championships,” he said.

However, Malilo explained that the local youth team gained a lot of experience as the played against more advanced rivals. Quizzed on challenges they faced with a predominantly youthful team, Malilo said: “the trip was too long and for most of the players this was their first experienced of travelling such a great distance. The jet lag ended up affecting the team’s performance as they showed signs of fatigue.” Malilo said their objective was to train young players and give them exposure to the game early on.

“We managed to network with bridge power houses like the Netherlands. Official from the European country expressed interest in training our kids through bridge clinics and enhancing the standard of play and bidding.” Malilo said they selected the junior team that travelled to China through local tournament that was held in Gaborone earlier this year. The tournament was attend by mostly tertiary school students and out of school youth in the junior and youngsters’ category. For the under 16 category we invited student from secondary schools.

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