Floyd Mayweather has curiously cherry picked Haitian born boxer Andre Berto, among more riveting top-tier champions in the prime of their careers, erratically somewhat adding to the mystification of his matching method as much as it has bolstered his reputation as a tough-fight dodger.
Mayweather has thus far and without a shadow of doubt paid his dues as an indomitable world champion, having fought and ruled over accomplished world champions his entire 19 year professional career notably over Oscar de la Hoya, Marcos Maidana, Pacman Pacquiao as well as Mexicans Juan Manuel Marquez and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. He has curiously in his last fight chosen a relatively unknown name, that should he win will equate the record of Italian-American former heavyweight champion, Rocky Marciano peaked ad infinitum at a record 49 victories – 0 defeats, has reached into the stupor of boxing and emerged with somewhat washed out former two time world champion titlist in the form of Haitian-American pugilist Andre Berto, sidestepping title starving darting young guns in the form of Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman, Britons Amir Khan and undefeated ‘Special K’ Kell Brook or better still the wild and marauding eastern European Siberian tiger: the undefeated Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin.
While Mayweather earlier in the year declared his intentions of “ending his career with a bang” his 49th opponent is ridiculously far from any such ‘big bang’ as much as it is far from the naturally exciting slew of fighters who are ready to face the pound-for-pound king whose matching could effortlessly be self-marketing attractions and afford him powerful nostalgic exit from the ring fit for a once a generation pound-for-pound great.
Mayweather’s nostalgic and perplexing shift from a record breaking super fight with a top pound for pound contender in Manny Pacquiao to a virtually stalled and unheard of name in big dollar boxing, chosen over more lucrative and famous boxing names and equally exciting, better and dangerous prospects such as Amir Khan and Golovkin counterproductive as it can already be seen with Mayweather’s frantic marketing exercise and irresolution.
EXCITING POSSIBLE OPPONENTS FOR MAYWEATHER.
GENNADY ‘GGG’ GOLOVKIN
Mayweather- Golovkin is possibly the penultimate enthralling and record breaking fight at the dawn of of Mayweather’s career that most boxing fans across the world are dying to see. Should the Mayweather –Golovkin fight happen: a clash of arguably number one and two pound-for pound enthralling fighters fail to break the American pay-per view and global viewership of the past Mayweather-Pacquiao, it will without a doubt break the succeeding records of September 2013’s, Mayweather-Alvarez and May 2005’s, Mayweather-De la Hoya respectively, undoubtedly affording Mayweather an opportunity to bolster his legacy as a 21st century boxing great.
However staid weight compromises will have to be made for the fight to happen which the Kazakhstani national, Gennady Golovkin has already proposed. Golovkin weighing in at the middleweight division of 70-79 kilograms will have to drop and meet Mayweather who weighs and boxes at the welterweight division of 63-66 kilograms at the the weight of 66 kilograms.
THE KELL BROOK CONNECTION
As much as Floyd Mayweather has exhausted the American welterweight division, exciting European young guns such as the undefeated, number one on Ring Magazine, IBF title holding Briton, Kell Brook who is atop Manny Pacquiao who sits at number 2. Brook is undefeated at 35 fights 24 of them coming by way of knockout and is burning for superior league boxing, its slew of opponents and the big pay days they come with. Mayweather-Brook also has the potential of breaking one of the three records set by the Mayweather fights in recent memory.
The Briton who won a silver medal aged 17 at the 2004 Athens Olympic and remains youngest British Olympic silver medallist thus far, is a two time world champion and has been publicly campaigning and rooting for his day in the ring with Mayweather for well over a year is consecutively snubbed by Mayweather for his last four fights is legendary for his blitzing hand speed. Khan who sits at number 3 on Ring Magazine below Manny Pacquiao, Kell Brook and Mayweather respectively has 32 victories under his belt, 19 coming by way of knockout and 3 losses and and is a lucrative name with a potentially money-spinning British following.
He has already engraved his lasting mark in elite professional boxing. Khan has already notably ruled over other thrilling American champions including Zab Judah, Chris Algieri, Devon Alexander, won against Argentine Marcos Maidana who nearly handed Mayweather his first defeat in a close contest forced a rematch and has also faced but lost to Danny’Swift’Garcia.
KEITH ‘ONE TIME’ THURMAN
Another exciting undefeated American prospect who has one of the highest knockout ratios in the welterweight division and who top matchmakers cannot continue to overlook is Keith ’One Time’ Thurman. Thurman though not tested by top end accomplished welterweight and world champions of the crop and status of Victor Ortiz, Miguel Cotto or Sugar Shane Mosley, has beaten reputable prize fighters in the form of Luis Collazo, Diego Chaves and the Mexican boxing hall of famer Robert Guererro, having had an enthralling cruise to top-tier boxing also remaining untainted by defeats and could have been a better replacement for a faded former world titlist in the form of Andre Berto.
The Botswana national boxing team recently returned from the zone 4 championship held in Mozambique. The team was led by head coach Thebe Setlalekgosi, two assistant coaches, Gibson Rauwe and Pearl Mooketsi. Two referees and judges, Gaseitsewe Ponatshego and Linda Mooketsi.
In the women’s category, Lethabo Modukanele was representing Botswana in the 48 kg division, while Phekie Bele and Sadie Kenosi were competing in the 57 kg and 60 kg categories, respectively. In the men’s category, Kobamelo Molatlhegi was representing the country in the 52 kg division, while Rajab Mahomed was competing in the under 51 kg category.George Molwantwa was competing for under 57 kg category and Treasure Moremi was competing for under 60kg category.
The boxers came home with seven medals, Modukanele came home with a gold medal, Kenosi, Rajab, Molatlhegi all came home with silver medals. While Moremi, Molwantwa and Phekie Bele all came home with bronze medals.
According to Moitshepi Nkabiti, the public relations officer of the Botswana Boxing Association, the team performed well and that they were hoping that Rajab would also bring home a gold medal. However, due to an eye injury, he could not participate in the finals.
He stated that, “though some people might think that how our team performed is not an achievement it is a big achievement to us. Other countries came with 19 boxers while we only came with our seven boxers, and they all came back with medals. That is something that we have to be proud of I really commend them for their performance. Having 5 players making it to the finals is really a blessing and we should not take it for granted.”
According to Nkabiti, Botswana was ranked fourth in the zone 4 championship, which was held in Mozambique. Other countries that participated in the tournament included South Africa, Zambia, Eswatini, and Seychelles. They all had a total of 19 boxers. Lesotho also had eight boxers.
The first Mascom Charity Cup spectacular has come and gone. The football event played at Obed Itani Chilume Stadium saw four football clubs playing one-day tourney with various charity centres being beneficiaries of the gate takings.
While the attendance was not at the expected level, it is said that the sponsor has made a killing with close to P500 000 made from voting lines. Football followers were asked to vote for teams of their choice, and top four clubs were eligible to play. A single sms voting line cost P 1.50.
Gaborone United became the most voted team with 62 984 votes followed by Security Systems with 51 027. On the third spot was BDF XI with 48 596 votes while Orapa United came forth with 44 401. Shockingly, Township Rollers did not make it after gathering a total of 30 637 votes, with BR Highlanders ahead of them having seen 44 204 votes to their name.
It is said, however that, the initiative live to expectation as clubs together with the sponsor have managed to assist charities of their choices. Mascom is believed to be happy for identifying beneficiaries and getting value for their money.
The mobile network company is still the longest standing partners of local football, having first tasted waters in 2005. The company now powers the Top 8 competition and said to have renewed the dame sponsorship at a value not exceeding 18 million. The Mascom Charity Cup was not the first to be hosted by a mobile network company.
In 2018, Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) hosted a similar event in which followers had to vote. The four participating teams were Mochudi Center Chiefs, Gaborone United, Orapa United and Township Rollers. GU were the eventual winners.
It is however not clear if the tournament will continue in the next football calendar, but what goes down into the history books is that Teenage Mpote and Orapa United were the first to win it. In previous years, there have been an off season tournament whose aim was meant for charity purposes. The tourney was called Kabelano Charity Cup and was usually played by four big teams (Rollers, Notwane, GU and Chiefs) without taking the voting routes. It was last hosted in 2015 and had Barclays as the sponsors.
Yet another thrilling showdown is expected between the country’s hottest strikers, Thabang Sesinyi of Jwaneng Galaxy and Thataoyaone Kgamanyane of Gaborone United, as the duo are eyeing for the 2021/2022 Golden boot.
With only four Botswana Premier League (BPL) games left, the race for the honours is rolling towards a thrilling climax, but for two individuals there is a race for an accolade of their own taking place that could easily go down to the final minutes of the season. Leading the pack with 19 goals is Jwaneng Galaxy talisman, Sesinyi who is one goal apart from Kgamanyane who has netted 18 goals thus far.
Both players have their eye on the golden boot, hoping that their respective teams have fixtures to put them in with a realistic chance of catching up, or leaving the other behind. The Money Machine is currently at the summit of the BPL log with 61 points while the mining giant, Galaxy are trailing on the third place with 49 points, having played 24 games thus far.
Both teams (GU and Galaxy) are expected to face each other towards the end of the season, as the initial fixture was postponed due to Galaxy’s involvement in CAF championship group stages. With 19 goals chalked up for the season so far, Sesinyi is just one goal away from Kgamanyane who led the race for the better part of the campaign. Sesinyi who is on freakish scoring form has scored four goals in his last two games; a hat trick against Prisons XI and a goal against Sua Flamingoes in the midweek fixture.
But there is no doubt that Sesinyi is no longer playing to carry his team, Galaxy, as realistically there is a slim chance for them to clinch the 2021/2022 season, but he is eyeing the Golden Boot Award when the league falls off.
Kgamanyane has begun the season in tremendous form; scoring every time he is given a chance, while Sesinyi, on the other hand, reached the peak of his form in the second round of the season; scoring both in the domestic league and also on the CAF Champions’ league group stage. He featured on team of the week on February.
Furthermore, the Money Machine attacker showed some growth as his conversion rate has been on a rising graph in the games he has so far played. Although Kgamanyane’s goal scoring prowess has been there for everyone to see, the player has been hampered by injuries. It promises to be a fascinating battle between the duo.
Meanwhile, BPL this week announced that they will hold the 2021/2022 awards. The league has since added seven new categories to take the total number of categories to 16. Among some new categories are the Defender of the Season and Midfielder of the Season awards. There are also two more awards for the administrators, as the league has included Team Manager of the Season and the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Season awards.
The best performing players in this campaign will be included in the Premier League Best XI. Nevertheless, match day officials have also been recognised with the introduction of two more categories in the young Referee of the Season and the Female Referee of the Season. Furthermore, BFL CEO Solomon Ramochotlhwane indicated that the awards will be held on the 25 June 2022, just after the 2021-2022 season comes to an end.