Minister of Youth and Sports Ulemu Msungama has secured a boxing rings’ sponsor for the Malawi Boxing Association (Maba).
The news will thrill the boxing fraternity, which for years now has no standard rings, a situation that has led to the slow development of the sport and injuries to boxers.
In an interview yesterday, the minister said: “The prospective sponsor will buy four rings, one in each city [Lilongwe, Blantyre, Mzuzu and Zomba].
“However, for a start, the sponsor has committed to buy one ring this year since this is something that was not budgeted for, the others will be bought next year.”
But Msungama said it was agreed that the sponsor’s identity should not be disclosed for now until the agreement is sealed.
“But we are almost through with the process and all that remains is to put pen to paper. Officials from my ministry and the sponsor’s representatives are finalising the draft agreement.
“One of the key conditions is that the rings will carry the sponsor’s name and the business that they are involved in,” he said.
The minister said the sponsor will also provide boxing equipment as part of the deal.
However, Msungama had a word of caution for Maba.
He said: “Boxing has the potential to make it big and put the country on the map and time has come for Maba to be strategic in its operations.
“So, I have challenged them to put their house in order so that they should be visible and earn the necessary support from the corporate world and government,” he said.
“I only knew about Malawi Professional Boxing Board’s existence not Maba.”
Maba president Pyson Likagwa applauded the minister for securing the rings’ sponsor.
“This has been one of our biggest challenges for years and the minister has proven that he is a doer and we want to assure him that he will now see a vigorous Maba,” he said.
Likagwa said Maba also lacks equipment such as recommended protective head gear.