WHEN Thomas Mashali died in Dar es Salaam last October, it was a big blow to the country’s boxing fraternity. But there still remained some hope, particularly in professional pugilism, that the dent caused to the game if any at all, was minimal.
However, when the nation’s top professional boxer, Francis Cheka controversially lost a match in India in last December, boxing as the nation’s standing chief hope, appeared to be taking a nose dive for a serious degeneration of the sport. Mashali was one of the nation’s up and coming professional boxers promising to give the nation at least a standing on the world’s athletic map.
The presence of other professional boxers notwithstanding, there was still hope for the country that there were still several other fighters especially amateur boxers.
Amateur boxers – boxers for the love of the game and not for money – are the pugilists on whom the nation has banked hope for harvesting medals in title international matches.
These boxers - amateur fighters – go to camps where they train under professional and well trained coaches with wide experience and paid by the nation’s recognised bodies. National amateur boxers have opportunities for wide exposure. Locally, they have many opponents in various categories during training at their clubs.
As part of the national team, the government enables their participation in overseas and international matches.
Tune up fights they get prior to huge global games like the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games arm them with wide experience, polishing them up in good manners. No doubt it is from amidst amateur boxers that the country gets fine and disciplined professional boxers