Ex-boxer: Let’s invest in our athletes if we want convincing results

Sierra Leone's failure persists regardless of the presence of foreign-based boxers.

By Magdalene Konneh

Sierra Leone’s female boxers put up a decent fight but failed to progress from the quarterfinals at the 13th African Games, as both athletes were beaten by their opponents in the ring at the Bukom Boxing Arena in Acra, Ghana.

According to former national boxer Gabriella Kamara, the two talented female boxers’ end was disappointing. He stated that their opponents outsmarted them in both bouts with slight pressure.

Sarah Joo Haghighat, a Canada-based Sierra Leonean boxer, competed against Nigeria’s Shukura Kareem in the Bantamweight 54kg category on March 18, 2024. The match was fierce, and both fighters demonstrated their boxing skills, but Sarah Joo could not secure a win despite putting up a great fight in the quarterfinals. Shukura won 4-1 on a split decision.

Betist Josefien, an Irish boxer representing Sierra Leone in the African Games, faced Nahdi Azza from Tunisia on March 19, 2024, in the 60kg quarterfinal. Unfortunately, despite her unwavering determination, she could not secure a victory and was beaten by a 4-3 decision.

Sierra Leone struggles to produce good results in the continent’s most prominent sports showpiece, even with the presence of foreign-based boxers.

Some ex-boxers believe there is a significant gap in integrating these boxers into the African boxing system, possibly due to a lack of understanding, communication, and coordination between local and foreign-based boxers.

Therefore, it is essential to identify and implement strategies that effectively utilize these resources to address this gap.

Following their disappointing performance in the African Games, ex-boxers are calling on the authorities to provide more support and invest in the athletes to ensure they are adequately prepared for future sporting events.

Gabriella Kamara said, “Sierra Leone can showcase its talent and potential on the international stage by providing resources and support to our boxers. Let’s invest in our local foreign-based boxers, give them proper training, and prepare them well for international competition.”

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