The honeymoon is over. In an effort to protect its soldiers, Malawi Defence Force (MDF) will not allow them to fight if promoters do not obtain health and life insurance.
According to Malawi Defence Force (MDF) head of training Brigadier General Alick Mhone, Army Commander Ignacio Maulana issued the order last week when he had an audience with Malawi Professional Boxing Control Board (MPBCB).
The development comes as promoters continue to organise local and international fights without insuring the boxers despite the sport being a risky.
“The commander met the MPBCB representatives recently where he made it clear that no MDF employee would be allowed to take part in a fight without being granted insurance,” Mhone said.
He said the resolution came into force immediately after the Maulana had relayed the message to MPBCB.
“Anything can happen during boxing and it is MDF which is going to be answerable if anything happens to our boxer. In case of injuries it is us who will meet the medical costs. So, we don’t want to take any chances,” he said.
Mhone was optimistic that the promoters would be able to pay for their boxers’ insurances because the fights are business oriented.
“Since the promoters earn money from sponsors and gate fees, then they cannot fail to meet the insurance cost,” he said.
MPBCB chairperson Lonzoe Zimba, who alongside the board’s marketing director Chiku Kalilombe, met with the Army Commander, said it was the responsibility of boxers’ managers to offer insurance.
“What we said during the meeting is that the boxers and their managers are the ones that are supposed to enforce insurance issues. Otherwise, it is not the responsibility of our board to enforce that,” he said.
Zimba, however, said it was crucial that organisers of bouts arrange for boxers’ insurance.
Some of MDF boxers are Osgood Kayuni, Wilson Masamba, Alick Mwenda and Chimwemwe Chiotcha, Chrispin Moliati.
No Pain No Gain director Craig Rousseau said there is nothing they can do other than honour the MDF demands.
“From now onwards, before we engage boxers from the army, we will make sure that we have insured the boxer. But we will only be doing so when there is a fight. We want to be following international standards. The insurance will also be extended to the other boxers,” he said.n