Warm greetings from Africa to the entire boxing family worldwide as we prepare to celebrate the International Boxing Day on Sunday, August 27, 2023.
As the President of the Africa Boxing Confederation (AFBC), I would like to congratulate all the boxers in our five continents for your exemplary show of excellence in various tournaments, boxing administrators and the coaches for your commitment in the progress of this noble sport. Africa appreciates your input in changing the face of boxing in your respective countries. Coaches keep up your good job. You go through a lot of sacrifices to ensure our boxers are in shape for international competitions. We also appreciate the efforts of the media to publicise our activities worldwide.
On behalf of my executive in AFBC, Board of Directors, boxers, R/Js, coaches and the entire boxing fraternity in Africa we extend our sincere gratitude to the initiator of this big day and now the International Boxing Association (IBA) President Umar Kremlev.
When he was the Secretary-General of the Russian federation, Kremlev initiated the International Boxing Day which was first celebrated in 2017.
In 2021, the International Boxing Day was moved from July 22 to August 27 to coincide with the inaugural World Boxing Championships held in Havana, Cuba, from August 17-30.
We’re lucky to have Kremlev, an innovative leader who has now revolutionized boxing to an unprecedented level. Today, boxers worldwide are enjoying the fruits of his labour in the form of prize money in major international boxing competitions.
I call upon our 52-member federations in Africa to appreciate Kremlev’s immense contribution in boxing development in our continent, and he has pledged to continue supporting us in any way possible to empower our boxers, coaches, R/Js, administrators and the media.
In marking the International Boxing Day, let’s see more unity, cooperation and peaceful co-existence among all boxing stakeholders in Africa. Put aside your differences and harness the potential of each one of you in your countries to develop our sport. Africa is on the move to a prosperous future. There’s no turning back now. You’re all important in whatever you do towards the improvement of our boxing standards not to mention the grassroots coaches for the marvelous job you do to groom our future champions from obscurity. AFBC appreciates you.
We’re all looking forward to the inaugural Nelson Mandela Cup boxing tournament to be held in South Africa in October. Big plans are underway for this important tournament initiated by IBA President Umar Kremlev with whom I’m in talks to make it a memorable occasion in Africa’s boxing history.
This year’s International Boxing Day will be celebrated in Serpukhov, Russia, during which boxing leaders from various national federations will meet there in a spirit of brotherhood to toast our champagne bottles to the rapid development that we have made in boxing since President Kremlev came into power in 2019.
On the eve of the event on August 26 will be the Night of Champions with nine exciting fights planned to keep fans on the edge of their seats to cheer our talented boxers from all parts of the world.
We thank the IBA for including two boxers from Africa, Uganda’s Shadiri Musa Bwogi and South Africa’s former IBO and WBF champion Xolisani Ndongeni in the programme. Ndongeni meets Russia’s Khariton Agrba in a welterweight fight. Bwogi – unbeaten in four fights with 2KOs – has made tremendous progress since turning professional, and last week was crowned the Africa Boxing Union (ABU) East and Central Africa super-middleweight champion in Kampala. He will fight Uzbekistan’s 2022 Asian Championships light-heavyweight silver medallist Odiljon Aslonov who is also a pro boxer unbeaten in four fights with 2KOs.
May the best boxers win in what promises to be a highly competitive and entertaining night of top-notch boxing in Russia.
Credit: Azania Omo-Agege – President, Africa Boxing Confederation (AFBC)