Promoters are said to consider Fox a serious threat to their business
The Professional Boxing Association of Botswana (PBAB) is reportedly at war with itself. Divisions within the association and the recent departure of Secretary General Willoughby Kemoen are said to all be implications resulting from the PBAB deal with Fox Sports. The association was formed in 2015 to regulate all professional boxing activities in the country.
One other key factors that led to the establishment of the PBAB was that, from amateur level, many Batswana boxers did not have it easy to progress to the professional level. In most occasions fighters were forced to go outside the country in order to make a living out of the sport of boxing.
Though affiliating with the Botswana National Sports Commission still remains a challenge, the federation has been hailed by many to be on the right track, and this has been proven by the continuous influx of boxers joining in the professional rank over the years. However, a deal that was recently entered into with Fox Sports, looks to be surprisingly garnering negativity.
According to former Secretary General Kemoen, who a motion of no confidence was passed on at the PBAB Ordinary Annual General Meeting (OAGM) held a fortnight ago, the Fox deal has divided the association.
“The problem started when Fox Sports came into the picture, some promoters felt the deal was a bad one. They felt that Fox sports is competition and would be taking over in their business here in the country,” said the former SG. He told Gazette Sport that the decision to remove him for the executive committee was mainly because of the role he played in facilitating the deal.
“Around June/July we had a meeting with some of the promoters, and they expressed their thoughts on the deal, and most of them were not happy with it. This is actually why they passed the motion of no confidence on me, the role I played in facilitating the deal,” he carried on. Kemoen also went on blame PBAB President Shakes Kebualemang for falling get his house in order, citing that he was might have been part of those who wanted him out.
“I blame the President, he was with them on this decision, I feel he is to blame for all this. Boxing was the first sport in the country to professionalize, I wonder if they want to destroy this great reputation that we have as a sport. I consider my removal from the committee as unprofessional and unsporting. I still even now consider myself as the Secretary General of the association,” he added.
In closing, the boxing administrator says he is not lost to the sport and is still open to return, provided he is presented with better conditions. “I have been in boxing for 22 years, Boxing is the only thing I know, and yes, I am still open to return and work with the PBAB, but only if there are better working conditions. I want to work with people who are professional and put this great sport of boxing first,” Kemoen ended. PBAB and Fox will host another event on 7th December in Gaborone, a tournament that Kemoen hopes will go well.