By John Tuerijama
THE Namibia Boxing and Wrestling Control Board, Chairman, Ellison Hijarunguru says the mushrooming of boxing academies is a welcoming development in the promotion of the code.
Namibia has seen a mushrooming of boxing academies which all purport to develop boxing in the country. Many have questioned the rate at which boxing academies are established, with some within the fraternity alleging that some of these academies are simply out to make a quick buck.
Hijarunguru said the establishment of different academies gives boxers a broader option of academies to choose from. He said having a limited number of academies will create a situation where talent is compromised or not even noticed as attention will be given to those who are already shining.
He however questioned whether some boxing academies have good intentions or whether they are in it for instant fame and money, noting that the objective of a boxing academy should always be to ensure that boxers receive the necessary guidance and training from their mentors.
Hijaruguru could not say how many academies are registered in the country as the boxing commission is only responsible for the registration of promoters, trainers and coaches.
“What we do as an administrative board is to oversee the sanctioning of bouts; see whether events take place within the stated requirement, if contracts are in place, fitness of boxers and ensure that there is sufficient budget for the sanctioned fights. “Only when the board is satisfied with all these issues can a boxing bout be sanctioned,” he said.
On how much boxers earn for different title fights, he said such information can only be disclosed at the discretion of the boxers themselves.
While Namibian boxing promoters depend on sponsorships to pay their boxers, professionals elsewhere make their money from television rights and pay-per-view deals.
Veteran boxing administrator, Joe Kaperu also concurred that the many boxing academies are good for the sport. He said it is anyone’s constitutional right to establish an academy or build training facilities for boxers anywhere in the country.
The boxing veteran said the mushrooming of boxing academies is a positive sign for the promotion of boxing, “provided that they (academies) have secured sponsorships which is extremely crucial.”
Meanwhile, a boxing coach has accused sponsors of only being interested in academies that deal with professional boxers.
Mistake Gariseb of the Mistake Gariseb Boxing Academy said: “It’s a struggle as we have difficulties in organizing international fights, even amongst clubs within the SADC region,” he said.
Gariseb, who deals with the Olympic-style boxers said it is unfair that the corporate sector shows no regard for clubs that deal with amateur boxers only. He argued that all of these professional boxers were once amateur before joining the paid ranks.
“I think it’s important that the private sector consider the important role some clubs play in the promotion of boxing at the grass-root level,” he argued.
Gariseb said he has not yet had the opportunity to organize title fights due to financial constraints ut he was nevertheless happy with his contribution to boxing at grass-root level.
“I make sure that we produce boxers who can do a great job at the Olympic Games and the Commonwealth Games but after some time these boxers are snatched by more established academies. That is why I think it is imperative that those established academies must invest in clubs that deal with amateur boxers only,” he said.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015