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Bond boxing thrills

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Botswana professional boxing has finally come to age following a successful card hosted by Bond Boxing Promotions this past weekend. After over five years in the making local pro boxing is now making waves in the region. The black-tie box and dine event that attracted multitudes of spectators at Boipuso Hall was hailed as one of the most successful independent fight cards ever held in the country. The success of the event comes at a time when the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) finally accepted the Professional Boxing Association of Botswana (PBAB) as an affiliate. The fight action was edge of the seat as almost all of the five bouts left multitudes of spectators begging for more.

The main bout featured Botswana Junior welterweight Tshepiso Mokgadi who went toe to toe with Namibian opponent Hamutenya. The six-round war did not disappoint as the two warriors closed the show in epic style. In his fifth fight of the evening the 27-year-old slugger quickly proved that he had prepared for war. However, Hamutenya did not take a step backwards as he consistently mounted pressure on his much shorter opponent. The Namibian’s height advantage was apparent in the earlier rounds.

However, Mokgadi quickly adjusted and caught the Namibian with impressive counter punches. However, Mokgadi’s supporters were left disappointed when the three judges saw the action packed main feature as a draw. Nevertheless, the Bond boxing stable boxers proved that it is ready for bigger and better things. The fourth fight saw Thabiso Mpolokeng easily defeating local opponent Onkarabile Mothibedi in a super bantamweight bout. Earlier in the night local novice Moabi Ngaka from D Scud boxing stable beat the more experienced Tshepo Khutloeng in another super bantamweight scuffle. Meanwhile, another Bond Boxing regular Tefo Letshikgwane lost to Timotheus Shuulula after an action packed six rounders.

Letshikgwane who compensates his lack of power with speed, and crafty defence found his hands full as the Namibian set numerous traps in the ring. In an interview this week, boxing promoter Bond Ngubula said there were signs of growth in professional boxing. “We cannot remain stagnant, the weekend card attracted the biggest turn out of supporters we have ever seen,” he said. Ngubula said he planned to organise another tournament in five to six months. However, Ngubula said they are far from hosting an African championship card as sponsorship remains hard to get by. “Bond boxing gym is the biggest sponsor, having finance 70 percent of the event.” Ngubula said some of the sponsors included Bokone Reticulation and Electrical Services(BRES), Trador Cash and Carry, LEGIGO, Connection Car Rental and Fairgrounds.

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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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