Local professional boxers face a defining moment following the announcement that Malawi Boxing Association (Maba) will now be promoting professional boxing under International Amateurs Boxing Association (Aiba).
Boxers will now have to decide whether to affiliate to Maba or remain at Malawi Professional Boxing Control Board.
Ironically, Maba has resumed its operations after being in hibernation for over a year following its suspension from Aiba.
Apparently Maba was slapped with an indefinite suspension after it was established that it was running professional boxing in the country which then was parallel to the structures which Aiba set-as an amateur institution.
Few months down the line, Aiba backtracked and it has introduced its own version of Aiba-Pro Boxing. Aiba has also advised its affiliates including Maba to concentrate on both amateur and professional boxing.
As part of implementation exercise, Maba has disclosed that it will hold elections for its subcommittee-National Professional Boxing Committee-to be responsible of running Aiba-Pro Boxing.
Although it is commendable for Maba to kick-start the process of establishing their professional arm, it is disappointing to learn the manner in which the Justice Katika-led association is going about it.
No wonder the elections which were set for last weekend were postponed because of tepid response.
The implementation exercise completely lacks awareness to the would-be members on the whole institutional set up.
Unfortunately instead of Maba holding an awareness meeting(s) to would be aspirants for them to make an informed decision, they are producing statements which will not help lure interested individuals to the committee.
Katika stated that they need people who are professionals and who would contribute to the growth of the professional boxing, but there is nothing they have done to inform such individuals.
Maba needs to know that some individuals are receiving information to the contrary. So, they need to up their game to create awareness, otherwise they will end up electing officials for the sake of it, or end with no committee at all.
Critical questions must be asked and answered and thing is Maba should not take this process lightly if they will want to attract good professional officials and boxers into their wing.
For instance, very few boxing fans are aware that only boxers affiliated with Maba are entitled to take part in Olympic Games as well as the Aiba-Pro Boxing.
How is Maba going to sustain professional boxing at international level since Maba is only affiliated to Aiba? How will Maba convince boxers to make the switch as most of them paid fees to trade punches under the banner of Malawi Professional Boxing Control Board?
Ironically, Maba’s rival camp, the Malawi Professional Boxing Control Board-has been active through the media sensitising boxers and managers on the need to stick with the body.
MPBCB President Lonzoe Zimba and his subjects have been explaining to stakeholders that the board offers professional boxers a wide range of choices.
In short boxers affiliated with MPBCB can vie for international belts such as World Boxing Council, World Boxing Organisation, International Boxing Federation and North American Boxing Federation among others.
This gives MPBCB an upper hand because promoters and matchmakers can easily market boxers to vie for different belts.
MPBCB has also warned boxers that will switch sides saying those that will leave the camp will not be welcomed back.
Zimba stated that they will not block any boxer from switching sides but they would be unwilling to welcome back deserters.
To counter attack, MPBCB has also revealed plans to promote amateur boxing.
According to Zimba, Aiba’s rival bodies made the decision during convention held in China recently.
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