African Boxing Championship-Local pugilists barred from participating


Featherweight Jonasson Molle (-57kg), light welterweight Kitson Julie (-64kg), welterweight Alvin Gabriel (-69kg), middleweight Jovet Jean (-75kg), and super heavyweight Patrick Camille (+91kg) already had their gloves on to exchange punches with their opponents but have to take them off now that the trip has been called off.

Seychelles Amateur Boxing Federation (SABF) chairperson Hervé Anthony shared the sad news with Sports Nation on Wednesday after receiving a fax saying that Seychelles had not been invited to participate in the championship.

The SABF only received this unpleasant news on Tuesday after it had written to the Moroccan Boxing Federation regarding a change in flight schedule because of no flight connection from Doha to Casablanca, Tunisia, on Wednesdays. The Seychelles delegation, the letter continued, would arrive in Casablanca on Friday April 29, 2005.

The SABF also asked its Moroccan counterpart to make necessary arrangement for local boxers to be met on arrival and to also confirm that they will receive their visas upon arriving in Morocco.

The answer they received on the same fax and apparently written by Mr Bessalem, president of the African Boxing Confederation, read:
“Nous n’avons pas invité les Seychelles. Dégageons toute responsabilité en cas d’arrivée délégation.”

Mr Anthony said that he doubts it was Dr Bessalem who sent such a note to the SABF.

“He would not have reply to us on the same fax we sent the Moroccan Boxing Federation. I also spoke to him and he said he was in Uganda,” said SABF chairman Anthony, who brought proof of the invitation received from the Moroccan Boxing Federation for SABF boxers to participate in the 14th African Boxing Championship from April 29 to May 8.

Mr Anthony also noted that he had received news that Egypt, Mali and Angola delegations had to go back home after Moroccan authorities refused them entry.
What did the SABF do the minute it received the information?

“I immediately phoned the African Boxing Centre in Tunis, Tunisia, to explain what had happened and I was told that we cannot participate in the championship’s finals because we were absent for the zone qualifiers in Madagascar. We are very disappointed because the boxers had trained hard for the championship. What is strange is that we were asked to enroll four boxers for the championship even though we did not participate in the qualifiers. Then, the African Boxing Centre in Tunis told us to add Jonasson Molle to our list of boxers. Both Molle and Jean are expected to join other African boxers at the African Boxing Centre in Tunis after the championship. They are to spend 10 months training at the centre and will participate in different competitions around the world,” explained Mr Anthony.

Meanwhile, SABF boss Anthony has said that despite the hiccup, local pugilists of all ages will be very active this year.

Reigning boxer of the year and African light welterweight defending champion Kitson Julie along with another pugilist, whose identity is yet to be decided, will participate in the Commonwealth Boxing Championship in Glasgow, Scotland, in June. They will be accompanied by coach Roland Raforme.

In July, Seychellois boxers are to enter the ring and exchange punches in the King’s Cup in Uganda.

Coach Jerry Legras will, in August, accompany a young team to Mauritius to take part in the Commission de la Jeunesse et des Sports de l’Océan indien (CJSOI) boxing tournament.

There is also the possibility of either a French or Mauritian youth team coming here some time this year to join their Seychellois counterparts in a tournament.

G. G.


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