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Local boxers get international exposure

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 Three local boxers are expected to compete in the international Fox Sports Africa boxing in Mbabane, Swaziland this Friday. The international boxing bill follows a simillar event that was held in Gaborone last year December. Fox Sports,a global leader in premium sports broadcasting continues to pack a mean punch with its fifth edition of Africa Boxing which includes multiple events.

The boxing bill will be beamed to the European and American markets giving countries like Botswana much needed exposure in professional boxing. The Friday bill will see Africa’s finest up and coming boxers take to the ring at The Royal Swazi Spa, and will be broadcast across 22 countries in Africa, and distributed to more than two million Fox Sports subscribers across Africa. Through a statement Kyle de Klerk, Director of Commercial and Business, FOX Sports Africa said, “The Africa Boxing fight bill for the 23rd of February sees two South African champions defend their titles.

Ayanda Nkosi will be defending his WBA Pan African Lightweight Title over 12 rounds against Michael Odiambo (Kenya) while Rofhiwa Maemu will be defending his WBA Pan African Featherweight Title against Haidari Mchanjo (Tanzania). “With all the fights sanctioned by the WBA (World Boxing Association),  FOX Sports Africa is working closely with local boxing associations to broadcast exclusive high-quality production to its millions of local viewers. And we are excited to be taking boxing to our viewers all around the country and we have eight more boxing bonanza events planned for 2018”. Meanwhile, three local professional boxers from the D Scud boxing stable in Gaborone are expected to compete in Mbabane.

The three boxers include Kabelo Bagwasi (60kg), Kutlwano Ogaketse (58.6 kg) and Tshepang Babui (56kg). In an interview this week, D Scud headcoach Thuso ‘Scud missile’ Khubamang said preparation for the Friday event are going well. “We are currently in camp. We never took a break since the last event held in Gaborone. We are currently focusing on improving power on all the three boxers,” Khubamang said. A former professional boxer in his own right Khubamang said he is doing a lot of pad work and bags with all the boxers. “They need to have a spark of power in their punches. Ogaketse and Bagwasi will be competing in six round bouts against South African opponents while Babui will be competing in a four rounder (against SA).”

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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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