Written by CHADUWA DHUMAKUDE
MZUZU--The World Boxing Federation (WBF) has lashed at the Malawi Boxing Committee for getting involved with the World Boxing Forum. The condemnation comes barely days after this Forum stripped Agness Mtimaukanena of her welterweight belt after she had successfully defended it by defeating Happiness Nkhoma in Lilongwe last weekend.
This boxing body declared the fight null and void citing incompetence on the part of the judges.
In an exclusive interview with MaraSports, the president of the World Boxing Federation (WBF), Howard Goldberg categorically blamed the Malawi sports ministry and its boxing commission for dealing with the Forum, a development which he says will continue militating against Malawian boxers’ global recognition because “no-one in the world accepts the Forum as a sanctioning body, nor do they give it one percent of credibility.”
“To gain credibility in boxing, countries need to work with reputable, dignified and upstanding sanctioning bodies of which there are a couple. Credibility can often be assessed accurately by looking at the website of the sanctioning body but more importantly the quality of its champions”.
“The World Boxing Forum is not even a real sanctioning body and it would be interesting for you to check out the quality of their champions. The mere fact that they approved of the judges for Agnes's fight and then stripped her because they felt the judges were inadequate accurately shows their incompetence and fraudulent behaviour,” said Goldberg.
The WBF president further challenged: “If you go to the World Boxing Federation's website, www.worldboxingfederation.net you can look at our champions. In the women’s champions, no less than five of our champions occupy the # 1 position in the world in the respective weight categories.”
“Just a few examples of our men champions with their respective records: Michael Grant heavyweight 48 - 4, Hinzi Altunkay cruiserweight 20 - 0, Najib Mohamedi light heavy 29 - 3, Anatoly Kopylenko middleweight 18 - 0, the list of quality champions is endless,” said Goldberg
Goldberg said the Federation has in the past offered to work with Malawi boxing to safeguard the prospects of Malawian boxers, but their offer was rejected.
He added that he even offered as president to come out to Malawi to personally talk to the boxing people and the commission but got no response.
Goldberg alleged that the Forum has never held any conventions and said that the olive branch to the Malawi boxing body to attend its convention which will take Place this September in Germany is still open.
The Federation boss has minced no words schooling the Malawi Sports Ministry and the boxing fraternity:
“If you want legitimate sanctioning bodies in Malawi, we the World Boxing Federation, are more than willing to help.” concluding that: “I am personally prepared to come out to Malawi to meet with the respective people to discuss how we can help Malawian boxing to grow and prosper. However, if you choose to work with fraudulent organisations, that is entirely up to you,”concluded Goldberg.