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The story of the fall from grace of what once the country’s second best sport after football is now legendary.

Boxing boast three medals from the Commonwealth Games dating back to 1982 when Leonard ‘Slasher’ Makhanya won the bronze medal. That was before winning a silver medal in the 1986 edition of the same competition. He was to be followed by Simanga ‘The Boer’ Shiba who also brought home a bronze medal in 2006 Commonwealth Games.  

Since then, there seemed to have been a dearth of top quality talent to emerge from the sport that had its own fair share of internal disagreement. The situation was compounded by the lack of sponsorship for the Swaziland Boxing Association (SWABA) which put a spanner in the associations’ plans of running its business to the point of threatening its core existence.

 Next Saturday, the association will host its National Championships and already the event will cost E40 000 and worse still, the amount is almost a third of their annual grant from the Swaziland National Sports and Recreation Council (SNSRC).

In the previous year, SWABA missed out on many international events because of lack of funds. A budget of a quarter of a million of Emalangeni had been drawn but the association had to pull out in almost all, if not all of those events. We tied down SWABA president Pearl Dlamini to a tell-it-all interview and the association’s plans to rekindle the once mighty sport.
Times: You have been with SWABA for many years across almost all positions, would you say boxing is making progress? If not what are the challenges and please outline plans to rekindle the sport
Pearl Dlamini: One would not stand on top of the roof and shout success, at the same time; one cannot hide under the pillow in shame and cry failure. Boxing has been on the verge of improving and this is attested by the following;
We have been prioritised as a PPP sport by SOCGA and SNSRC  Two of our boxers; Thabiso Dlamini and Zweli Dlamini, have been granted Olympic scholarships towards Tokyo 2020.

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