The International Boxing Association (Aiba) has empowered Malawi Amateur Boxing Association (Maba) to start controlling professional boxing as was the case before.
Until 2014, Maba used to be the sole body overseeing both amateur and professional bouts until Aiba restricted it to amateur boxing.
The development has provided professional boxers in the country a chance to either be under Maba or Malawi Professional Boxing Control Board (MPBCB).
Meanwhile, Maba will be holding elections on August 21 to usher in a special subcommittee that will be in charge of professional boxing.
“We are calling all interested parties to make applications for various positions for the professional boxing subcommittee elections to be held in Lilongwe at a venue to be announced later,” Maba president Justice Katika told The Nation in an interview yesterday.
He said the subcommittee will be given powers to organise professional bouts, a responsibility which was previously only sanctioned by MPBCB.
“The thing is Maba will now be able to manage its own professional boxers. The subcommittee will be supported to take charge of all affairs pertaining to professional bouts,” he said.
According to Maba acting general secretary Kamphinda Banda, the positions to be filled are that of a chairperson, vice- – chairperson, general secretary, vice-general secretary, publicity secretary, vice-publicity secretary, treasurer and four committee members.
Commenting on the development, MPBCB president Lonzoe Zimba welcomed the development, but indicated that they would also start managing their own amateur boxers.
“It is a good development, but note that we were also allowed to own amateur boxers by the World Boxing Council [WBC]. We did not implement that in respect of Maba. With the current situation, we will also begin managing armature boxers,” he said.
Malawi National Sports Council (MNSC) executive secretary George Jana said it is acceptable to have more than one body controlling professional boxing in the country.
“We are aware about that, the boxers will have to choose the body they want to fight under. There is no problem. However, Maba is under Aiba, the only body recognised and that works with the International Olympic Committee. That is why they are the only body we also recognise and work with as our members,” he said.
Mzuzu boxing coach Gabriel Kondowe said the development will lead to innovations which will subsequently improve the sport.
“This is good, it will breed innovations,” he said, the sentiment which was similarly shared by Lilongwe based professional boxer, Osgood Kayuni.