Africa: The Sleeping Giant Has Awoken
March the 3rd, 1990, a young boxer from then Apartheid South Africa became the IBF Featherweight Champion of the world by outpointing Fabrice Benichou of France. Ncita had to travel to Israel to fight Benichou because he was not allowed to fight in South Africa for such great honor. Ncita’s IBF title was an eye opener thus encouraged other African boxers to fight for this great boxing organization in the world, the IBF.
Exactly nine years after Welcome Ncita became the IBF champion of the world, IBF/AFRICA was unveiled in in 1999 to set up a progression path that would promote boxing skills and welfare of African boxers.
The tremendous value of the IBF/AFRICA was in promoting African professional boxers profile that would increase their earnings! It is in fact the IBF/AFRICA’s contribution that has led to African boxing unprecedented growth in recent years.
Suffice it to say that one of IBF/AFRICA’s objectives is to promote Africa boxing by providing proper vehicle to thousands of potential boxers. In this regard, many African boxers have benefited from its establishment. Now, more than ever before African boxers are being rated at the IBF Intercontinental and world ratings respectively.
Much have happened since 1990 when Welcome Ncita a lone black man from Soweto travelled to Israel to fight for the auspicious IBF title. The establishment of IBF/AFRICA made it possible for boxers to stay and fight for various IBF titles in their beloved countries in Africa. Many titles in different weight categories have been won by boxers from South, East, Central, North and West Africa respectively.
The IBF titles have helped to promote the image and status of African boxers to attract international managers, promoters, agents and matchmakers for major boxing promotions. Many of these boxers have moved from obscurity to instant millionaires and iconic status. It is like the story of “from rags to riches”. Many young men and women are now training hard throughout African continent to try their luck on the IBF titles.
IBF/AFRICAN titles range from zonal to continental titles and from youth to senior as well as from male to female in all weight divisions. So there have been great opportunities for boxers to choose from our titles.
Form 1999 over 100 IBF/AFRICA titles have been won by boxers with determination and courage from different Africa countries. These boxers derived from South Africa, Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Nigeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Bukirna Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, DRC Congo, Ethiopia and many more countries in the continent.
IBF/AFRICA has made it possible for many African boxers to become boxing stars, celebrities and rich. It has also promoted their counties images internationally which has contributed to improved economies through job creation and destination market (Sports Tourism).
Boxing tournaments have helped to increase inbound tourists to Africa and enable the service sector to grow substantially these past 14 years. This is great development strides for African continent that require major promotional undertakings to promote its economy and improve the livelihood of its people.
African continent requires MEGA boxing promotions to develop its boxing industry as it has great boxing potential. But, lack of sponsorship and television coverage are the major obstacles.
As IBF/AFRICA make its headway towards 15th years anniversary, African boxers are becoming very passionate with IBF. Africa is ready to work with IBF in order to take this continent to greater heights. Many promoters have joined IBF for promotional licenses and dates. This could only be good news for African boxing fraternity.