THE Zambian boxing contigent to the All-Africa Games should not be blamed for poor performance at the competition because they were subjected to last-minute preparations as a result of poor funding to the Zambia Amateur Boxing Federation, says Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions (OQBP) manager Christopher Malunga .
Out of the seven boxers that were sent to represent Zambia at the AAG, only Ben Muziyo managed to scoop a bronze medal.
Malunga said the desire to reap more medals in amateur boxing would only be possible if funding was increased to ZABF.
“It is pointless to point fingers at the coach or boxers. The boxers were not prepared enough to compete at such a competitive tournament. But the federation lacks resources to prepare many medal winners. This is not just the problem of the federation but for everyone,” he said.
He appealed to the private sector and individuals to assist the federation with funds to ensure that boxers reap more medals at the next competition.
“I earnestly appeal to the private sector to assist the federation. We cannot be waiting for Government as it is there to provide the policy. Amateur boxing is the foundation of boxing. And I still emphasise that these boxers need to face foreign-based boxers before participating in competitive competitions,” he said.
He advised the federation to put donated funds to good use and ensure boxers were picked on merit.
Meanwhile, ZABF president Thomas Chileshe said the federation will soon hold a meeting to evaluate the disappointing performance of the team.
“We will do a post-mortem into the boxers’ poor performance. We will assess as to whether to drop certain boxers permanently or look for ways to improve the performance,” he said.
He said the boxers should have self-inspiration apart from the training they receive.
“Mohammed Ali trained locally but was able to produce results because he had passion. If they say international exposure, yes it is vital, but self-inspiration helps one achieve more,” he said.