By John Tuerijama
WITH Namibian soccer having come to a complete standstill, there is every room for boxing to become the country’s number one sport. The inroads made by boxing are commendable and if more support is offered, we can only expect Namibia to produce more boxing champions.
I say this with the full knowledge that professional boxing is very small in number compared to football. There are more footballers in Namibia than there are boxers. We also know that when a league is in full swing, there are football matches every day while boxing events are held within intervals of three months.
However, the fact that boxing has produced world, continental and commonwealth champions is commendable. It should also be understood that not all these boxing federations are of high repute but at least there is something going for Namibia. You start small and grow big.
In football, same is true. Our players start locally, branch out to South Africa and Botswana and then move overseas or to leagues which pay more money and which strengthens the national team.
As I stated above, soccer is completely dead until money is found elsewhere to fund league operations. While we are waiting for money to be found, we were hoping that boxing could take over that number one spot.
Unfortunately, we have lately seen the boxing fraternity tearing itself apart. Boxing promoters and officials of the Namibia Boxing and Wrestling Control Board are at each other’s throats. Promoters are also at odds with each other and have no kind words to say about one another.
To make matters worse, the boxing commission has suspended its chief administrator for an alleged string of misdemeanours which still have to be clarified publicly.
That Namibian boxing is now bedevilled with in fights, blame shifting and personal vendettas is an understatement. No one just wants to work with the other one.
Do the boxing commissioners understand their role? Do the promoters understand the role of the commissioners in terms of the appointing Act? Do the commissioners understand the importance of the boxing promoters?
Do all these parties understand that without working together there will be no boxing? Do they also understand that massaging their over inflated egos has a negative impact on the boxers and the sport in general?
Boxers depend on the money they make from boxing. They don’t make money listening to how promoters insult each other or how promoters demand some commissioners to be fired from the boxing board.
Since any Tom, Dick and Mary can decide to become a boxing promoter at any given time may I suggest than that an Indaba be held between all stakeholders such as promoters, regulators, trainers, ring-doctors, fight officials to chart the way forward to professionalize the sport from office administrators to boxing promoters.
Take the good and the bad lessons from rugby, football, netball, cricket and athletics. Namibian sport cannot afford another casualty but what is happening now in boxing points to a sure case of a sport that will soon find itself in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of sport if precautions are not taken.
Sportsmen and women want to do one thing and that is to do the sport they love. They have no interest in the fights that are going on. Boxing officials, be it commissioners or promoters better be warned that history will not sit idle while they mess with the future of young Namibians. Behave or get out of the kitchen.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015