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LeBA celebrates Boxing Day

Leemisa Thuseho

THE Lesotho Boxing Association (LeBA) yesterday joined the world in celebrating the 2021 International Boxing Day.

The day is celebrated annually under the auspices of the Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) to promote the sport worldwide.

The International Boxing Day celebrations were initially scheduled for 22 July but was moved to 27 August to coincide with the commemoration of the 47th anniversary celebration of the AIBA World Championship. The first edition of the AIBA World Championship was held from 17 to 30 August in 1974.

The day was first celebrated in Russia in 2017. It was proposed by Umar Kremlev, the then secretary general of the Russian Boxing Federation. In 2019, AIBA designated the day to be celebrated annually and encouraged the global boxing family, fans, partners and stakeholders to join forces in celebrating it.

LeBA public relations officer, Rethabile Mohale, told the Sunday Express this weekend that the AIBA committee used this year’s celebrations to regain the boxing community’s faith.

“This year AIBA is also using the celebrations to restore the reputation of the sport following fights in the international body which saw it being stripped of the rights to organise boxing events in the just ended Tokyo Olympics,” Mohale said.

Mohale said due to Covid-19 restrictions, they celebrated the day by staging shadow boxing and training demonstration activities at an event held at Makoanyane Barracks.

“We wanted to have a real tournament but due to Covid-19 restrictions, we had to go for shadow boxing and training demonstrations. We took videos and sent them to AIBA and shared them on social media platforms.

“That way, we showed our fans, sponsors and the world that the sport is alive despite the Covid-19 challenges while also attracting more boxers,” Mohale said.

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