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'Boxing must not resume this year', says Andile Sidinile

Sidinile has cautioned BSA not to even try and convince Mthethwa to allow boxers to start training.
Sidinile has cautioned BSA not to even try and convince Mthethwa to allow boxers to start training.
Image: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

Boxing SA must forget about boxing this year and that is the message they must spread to their licensees.

This plea was made yesterday by Andile Sidinile whose appeal comes when the regulatory body's Gauteng Provincial manager Lehlogonolo Ramagole, ring official Ben Ncapayi and matchmaker Abbey Mnisi are hard at work inspecting gyms around KwaZulu-Natal to make sure that they meet the Covid-19 protocols before boxers can go back to training.

Sports minister Nathi Mthethwa announced recently that both contact and non-contact sports can resume training, but under strict supervision.

In football, Cape Town City became the first PSL club to resume training last week.

Hard-working BSA CEO Tsholofelo Lejaka last month visited the Eastern Cape to inspect gyms and also put in place appropriate systems to comply with health and hygiene measures. The purpose was to enable BSA to assure Mthethwa that all the boxing training facilities are indeed safe before a written approval from him can be sought that training can now be permitted.

But Sidinile has instead cautioned BSA not to even try and convince Mthethwa to allow boxers to start training.

"You can't allow boxing to resume because even at the gyms, chances of infections are galore. Boxers train in enclosed environment compared to rugby or football where players train in an open field," reasoned the former boxing promoter, BSA board member and IBO fight supervisor who now works as the chief of staff in the Eastern Cape department of health.

Speaking in his capacity as a religious boxing follower, Sidinile said when boxers train, they engage in sparring and there is a lot of spitting of saliva and holding between rounds. It is unclear as to how has the US dealt with such challenges, but the fact is that they have already had a number of tournaments behind closed doors.

"There has never been evidence if there are infections in those fights [in the US]," said Sidinile who enjoys a cordial relationship with respected American veteran trainer Floyd Mayweather Senior.

"But at least weigh-ins in the US include testing and that is the kind of capacity we do not have here. The bottom line is that boxing must not resume here. BSA must at least look at next year February. They must assess the situation around November or December. Actually, BSA must encourage licensees to stay at home."

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