Malawi Professional Boxing Control Board (MPBCB) are relieved following the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19’s recommendation that all indoor gatherings must have half capacity.
The board’s president Lonzoe ‘Defector’ Zimba welcomed the news, saying boxing fans will be able to watch their favourite sport.
“Like I said last week, without fans during boxing matches, the sport cannot sustain itself.
“Unlike in the developed countries, local television industry has not developed to commercial levels to beam live bouts and make profits. As such, revenue is dependent on gate revenue,” he said
Zimba said promoters had complained that they could only promote fights if the fans would be allowed entry.
He said the promoters can breathe a sigh of relief and go ahead to organise fights.
“It has been tough for boxers since sports activities were suspended in April. Our boxers could not earn a living, but now they can afford to smile again,” said Zimba.
He said as MPBCB they are ready to observe all Covid-19 guidelines.
“We will also have liquid hand soap in designated places within the venue. Boxers, doctors and cornermen will be subjected to Covid-19 tests. We have put on checks to ensure we do not breach the guidelines,” he said.
MPBCB has sanctioned four fights to be held at M1 Centre Point on Sunday.
Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo-Chiponda who is also co-chairperson of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 confirmed the softening of the rules last week..
She said they have also agreed that open space functions should be allowed on condition of strict adherence to Covid-19 preventive guidelines.
On his part, Minister of Information Gospel Kazako said: “If we observe that people are not following the measures and cases are rising, we will revert to 100 or even 50 people per gathering.”
Last week, MPBCB wrote the Ministry of Youth and Sports seeking special permission to allow boxing fans during bouts.