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IBA rescue Botswana boxers

Botswana’s national team coach Thebe Setlalegosi has every reason to thank the International Boxing Association (IBA) for funding their trip to India for Women’s World Boxing Championships from March 16-26.

Owing to budgetary constraints, Setlalegosi, who is also the deputy chairman of Mahalapye District Council, said the government was overwhelmed.

“I’m very grateful for IBA’s timely support,” said an excited Setlalegosi.

“Honestly I’ve been in boxing for over 30 years and I’ve never seen this kind of noble gesture, it’s the best ever from our IBA President Umar Kremlev and his team. I hope they’ll do the same to our men’s team because it’s not easy for our governments in Africa to fund every trip bearing in mind they have so many responsibilities.”

The boxers travelling to India are Commonwealth Games minimumweight bronze medallist Lethabo Modukanele, rising star 20-year-old Mphaphi Bele who’s a bantamweight bronze medallist in the Africa Championships in Maputo and Africa Championships light-welterweight silver medallist Aratwa Kasemang (pictured left in action) who turned pro last year and has so far won one fight.

Reigning Africa featherweight champion Keamogetse Kenosi, the most successful female boxer in Botswana, is unable to make the trip because she’s not in shape.

“Kenosi was attending to personal issues and only resumed training recently, therefore she cannot make it due to fitness,” said coach Setlalegosi.

“Her morale is okay, though. Infact she has started building a house from the prize money she earned in Maputo.”

Kenosi, the 2019 African Games featherweight champion, outpointed DR Congo’s Marcelat Sakobi in the finals in Maputo to earn the top prize money of $10,000 for the gold medallists.

Credit: AFBC Communications

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