Retired professional boxer from Mdantsane Welcome Ncita thinks going back to basics could bring amateur boxing to its former glory in the township.
Speaking on the sidelines at the Peppy Thomas Foundation schools sport tournament, former IBF super-bantamweight champion told the Dispatch it was unfortunate that amateur boxing is on the decline mainly because the passion that was there does no longer exist.
“Now it’s all about what the person will get out it and that mentality is everywhere. Maybe it’s because of the civilisation as far as the freedom and we have ended up losing ourselves in the process with regards to this sport.
“Back in the day it was all about passion and also to become known as the best of the best, money was something that came after but unfortunately the circumstances have changed have now made money to be upfront.”
According to Ncita there were different factors that contributed to the drop in the standard of boxing in the province.
“It’s not something that cannot be fixed but unfortunately the problem is in the mind-set of people around in boxing of late. We differ in terms of understanding of what is exactly needed in grooming a child and all of this is caused by all these things I’ve already mentioned.
“And you find out that all those that had boxed before are not involved with the sport to share their experiences with the youth involved with the sport.
“Those are things that make us find ourselves in the situation we are in today but I want to believe that an event such as this one (schools tournament) is trying to address such challenges of which it’s a brilliant idea and if we can have more of these gatherings maybe there can be difference and who knows we might even get back to our former glory.”
Ncita said besides everything else: “Socially there’s too much fun in our communities such as parties and music and everything.
“Those things back then maybe eight years ago were not as popular as they are right now.
“To kids in our days it’s all about there’s a party somewhere which leads to substance abuse.”
He applauded the initiatives started by Buffalo City Metro (BCM) in the amateur boxing field in underdeveloped areas in the province.
“There’s 50 clubs that I work with in partnership with the city.
“We have just came back from Indwe, and we have already been to Cala, Queenstown, Mthatha and week in week out we have those tournaments we host in the rural areas.
“BCM has given young guys plus minus R250000 to organise an amateur boxing tournament and they will be presented the equipment they bought to the municipality because they need to account for that money and that’s a step in the right direction.