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A YEAR OF AGONY FOR BOXER SIBONELO

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MBABANE – It’s almost a year since the lone Eswatini professional boxer Sibonelo Ndzimandze took to the ring with his gloves on for some body blows.

This is due to the COVID-19 pandemic that forced sports to be suspended in March last year with no tournaments since then. He said this was not good for him and his career but he had to make things happen through continued training sessions. “The COVID-19 has destroyed us as athletes. The focus this year was on the Olympic Games qualifiers. I was planning to secure a sponsor to assist with my training camp in South Africa among other things and attend the Olympics qualifiers, but all that seems impossible under the current situation,” he said.
Boxing in South Africa and Eswatini was suspended in March. South Africa did allow it to resume late last year but it remained banned in the country as it was regarded as a high risk sport. Ndzimandze said all along he had been training at home.

“I last fought six rounds last year in February 2020 and it is almost a year now. I never stopped training and my manager gave me hope recently as he said he was working on something and I hope soon I will be back in the ring in South Africa,” he said. The country had the duo of Thabiso Dlamini and Zweli Dlamini lined up for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games qualifiers before sports suspension in March. Both boxers are benefitting under the Olympics scholarship. They attended qualifiers in Senegal and they were due for other qualifiers in France.

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