Boxing: art, sport or lifestyle?

Did you know that hitting a punching bag can let you get rid of all the stress in your body, one jab at a time? Yes, from improving cardiovascular health to being a stress buster, aiding fat loss and improving confidence, regular boxing classes can improve one’s life. RORISANG MOGOJWE caught up with boxing instructor and promoter, Bond “Squealer” Ngubula, for Timeou

Q: Some people say boxing is a sport while others do it for the lifestyle. How do you, as an instructor, define it?
A: Boxing is a sport because it is governed by rules and regulations like other sports. It is called the sweet science because it requires fighters to be fierce, tactical and to have a certain amount of anticipation for the opponent’s next move. It takes logic and science to be able to create an environment where that is all possible. But boxing has become a lifestyle recently. Western countries have developed what we call white collar boxing where people use boxing workouts as a way of losing weight and keeping fit. So you might categorise it as both a sport and a lifestyle.
Q: Besides the health reasons, what are some of the life skills that boxing can teach?
A: Sport in general, not just boxing, teaches you perseverance and patience. For you to teach a child or boxer to become a champion, it takes time. It is a process. You also learn team work and you never work alone. You learn not to quit. Quitting is a choice because you have a string of losses but you learn to get up and keep going. Life will punch you in the face but remember you can punch back better than yesterday. And you take what you learn in the ring and in the gym and apply it to life.
Q: What was the inspiration behind Bond Boxing Club?
A: I started the boxing club after I lost my job in 2013. I was fed up with formal employment but I also believed God wanted me to put my life on a different path. The only skill that I had besides what I learned at university and during employment was boxing. And after visiting a boxing gym in Jo’burg, it became my dream to start something like this in Botswana. After I got my retrenchment package from my former employer, I started Bond Boxing.
Q: Where are we going with boxing in BW?
A: There are two types of boxing – professional and amateur. Amateur boxing is what is common in Botswana through the Botswana Boxing Association. However, professional boxing is quickly gaining momentum and that is what people enjoy. At the moment, we are promoting professional boxing through matches, including the big one where former radio personalities Robby Rob and Luzboy are going head to head in the fight against gender based violence. That is what people enjoy watching. At Bond Boxing Gym we offer boxing classes where boxers learn the skills of champion fighters for fitness and weight loss.
On a regular day, Bond Boxing session participants, typically young, vibrant professionals looking to keep fit in a busy world, can be seen hitting the bag in a music-driven, high-intensity boxing inspired workout. The club has also embarked on social responsibility initiatives where they train and empower some youths from vulnerable communities while creating employment opportunities for others.