Boxing's reputation taking a pounding

31/03/2019. Wilhelm Nebe celebrates after beating Nhlakanipho Gwamanda during their heavyweight bout
31/03/2019. Wilhelm Nebe celebrates after beating Nhlakanipho Gwamanda during their heavyweight bout
Image: Masi Losi

I urge the boxing fraternity to protect the fistic sport with all that it takes, even if it means spearheading a campaign to advise Boxing South Africa (BSA) to revoke some boxers' licences.

I want to steal a few lines from the song Papa Stop the War, sung by the People's Poet Mzwakhe Mbuli and Sello "Chicco" Twala.

"Listen to the voice of reason; now is the time to unchain the minds and hearts. Images of a new dream and society should emerge. This is the voice of concern."

Boxing is a noble sport, the greatest, not for cowards and sissies. Not for useless freeloaders. It is about asserting and affirming who you are.

Some people think boxing is just some stupid and mindless pastime - it is not.

You can see boxing (if you really open your eyes) in every sphere of life.

Unfortunately, it has the likes of Nhlakanipho Gwamanda. Surely we will never win the war to unchain the minds and no images of a new dream in society will emerge if we don't act against the like of Gwamanda.

This is the voice of concern.

Last month Gwamanda went down against Wilhelm Nebe without being touched. He later walked away with purse money he did not earn or deserve.

If Gwamanda has no respect for himself - let alone the sport of boxing, television, sponsors and the fans - why is he still allowed to box?

And what about millions of fans who watched the farce of his heavyweight bout with Nebe live on SuperSport and those who paid their money to watch him at Blairgowrie Recreation Centre?

A few minutes after the fight had been stopped, Gwamanda was full of smiles as if nothing had happened.

Imagine a situation where he must top a bill. Do you really think that fans will attend that tournament after what they know about him?

There is an outcry that tournaments, especially in Gauteng, fail to attract the numbers that those in the Eastern Cape do. Some people say sports fans in Gauteng are spoiled because this is where many big events take place.

I don't want to argue but I am very concerned about the ever- dwindling number of boxing fans in Gauteng.

You know Blairgowrie Recreation Centre is a proper venue for boxing and promoter Sandile Xaka must continue putting on shows there on Sundays.

But I wonder what informed Xaka to give Gwamanda a fight because he has proven previously against the likes of Ruann Visser and Joshua Pretorius that he does not enjoy being hit.

We cannot allow boxers like Gwamanda to continue torturing us. It is thus proper to usher in new people in all positions we hold in order to get new images and new dreams, so that a new society emerges.

This is the voice of concern.

I take my leave.

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