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Boxing set to punch its way to the top

Written by Albert Pule

Sport, arts and culture

By 2017, boxing would have recovered its position as one of the premier sporting codes in the country.

This follows an agreement between Boxing South Africa (BSA) and the Ministry of Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) on a strategy to return South African boxing to its former glory.

The agreement was reached during a recent meeting between BSA and SRSA.

BSA used the meeting to brief SRSA on the progress it has made in reviving the sport and to discuss matters important to the future of boxing development in communities.

“These discussions were very important because the National Sport and Recreation Indaba and the National Sport and Recreation Plan make boxing one of the ‘priority’ codes to be given specialised attention in 2013,” said a joint statement released after the meeting.

BSA’s CEO Moffat Qithi and its chairperson Ngconde Balfour assured the meeting that BSA was working hard to turn boxing into a leading sporting code in the country by 2017.

Stakeholders agreed to “lift boxing from the doldrums and return it to its former glory”.

“We appeal to all stakeholders … in the sector to embrace vision 2017, participate constructively and meaningfully in order to resuscitate and promote boxing in all the provinces with the hunger and appetite for boxing,” said the statement.

Qithi and Balfour also highlighted the need for the effective administration and regulation of professional boxing.

This included ensuring the safety, health and well-being of professional boxers, promoting, marketing, and sanctioning quality boxing events and tournaments, as well as coordinating the activities of all boxing stakeholders in the country.

To turn boxing into the number one sport in South Africa, BSA also needed to display good leadership, it was noted.

“To achieve these objectives, BSA needs to ensure that there is strong leadership, accountability and diversity across all business units and governing spheres,” said the statement.

SRSA, together with BSA, will be handing out boxing equipment in communities of KwaNobuhle in the Eastern Cape, Soweto in Gauteng and Khayelitsha in the Western Cape.