The Gauteng Promoters Association (GPA) has kick-started a process aimed at restoring boxing's lost spark.
Former Transvaal and SA lightweight champion Mxolisi Gumede, who is now a promoter, announced yesterday that all former and current members of the entire boxing family, including the amateurs, are invited to an imbizo next Saturday at 10am.
Gumede, who is the deputy chairperson of the GPA, said members of the public are also welcome at the imbizo at Braamfontein's Recreation Centre.
"Our plan is to have five boxing imbizos in five municipalities around Gauteng. This stems from our concerns, which were raised in a discussion we had last weekend," he said.
"Truth be told, boxing has lost the appeal which made boxers proud to be in it. This has even affected communities who used to follow their sport and supported tournaments.
"Boxing is currently not drawing the masses, and it could perhaps be that the paying public are not getting value for their money.
"Finer things such as the display of skill are gone, and the biggest concern is that this is a continuos thing."
Gumede mentioned former greats such as Jacob Morake, David Khambule, Peter Mgojo and many others who he said displayed pure artistry and created excitement when they fought.
"They were a marvel to watch. Winners were known after their fights whereas today you can tell the winner before the actual fight. That is because of the poor matchmaking and skills development."
Gumede said matchmaking then was done on merit.
"Today favoured boxers, who belong to certain promoters, are fed corpses.
"Today matchmaking is done telephonically, and the assumption is that matchmakers are told who to hand-pick for preferred boxers," said Gumede who fought top fighters such as Mpisekhaya Mbaduli, Walter Mpungose, Aladin Stevens and Victor Padilla Garcia.
"We want to talk about how best we can improve the current situation and put measures in place. Then I can assure you that those followers who prefer to follow action on television will rue not being at fight venues."