Shelly Guni, Sports Reporter
The Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, Kirsty Coventry has hailed boxer Brendon ‘Boika’ Denes for winning the WBO Africa title last week.
Boika emerged winner after a sixth round knockout over Namibia’s Mikka Shonena to be crowned the new WBO Africa champion.
Minister Coventry said Boika defied all odds by defeating the fancied Namibian who had a perfect undefeated 16 match professional record.
“Brendon Denes’ victory has lifted the spirits of many within the fraternity and indeed across the nation. 2020 has been difficult year due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” she said this during a presser held at her offices to congratulate Boika.
“It is further proof that boxing is a very low hanging fruit and take the nation to glory in the field of sport,” she added.
“The win by Boika is a very welcome development for the entire nation. Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to conclude by thanking the Charles Manyuchi Academy management and staff and everyone has played a part in ensuring the grooming of the athlete whom we celebrate here today.
“Our very own champion managed the Covid-19 lockdown hangover to land himself his second career title,”
“Brendon also remains undefeated in his eight match professional career. I am reliably informed that this victory puts him in the world’s top 40 in the welterweight category.”
Hon Coventry went on to acknowledge the challenges being faced in sports and boxing in particular.
She said: “Chief among the issues is the underfunding and limited investment in the sector.
“This has resulted in many of our professional boxers failing to focus on the sport and engaging in other activities in order to make a living.
“This has impacted negatively on the quality of our boxing and the level of competence of many of our professional boxers.”
She however highlighted that her, “Ministry is making frantic efforts to make sure that we empower the institutions which are responsible for sports development in order to improve their capacities.”
Just like the Sports and Recreation Commission who are seeking to repeal the SRC Act, Minister Coventry said: “We are now engaged in the process of repealing the Boxing and Wrestling Control Act together with the Sport and Recreation Act in order to come up with modern piece of legislation which is in sync with the latest trends and addresses modern challenges.”