One of Liberia’s minor sports, boxing, is suffering from what a boxing fan told me, an Ebola virus.
He said for boxing to survive, it might need a concerted effort to set things straight.
“When was the last time you heard of a boxing bout in this country?” he said. “I bet you cannot find the date, eh?”
A visit at the headquarters of the Liberia Boxing Association, right by the Sports Commission, on Broad Street yesterday afternoon did not reveal much for aspiring boxers to hope for.
Two young kids were warming up in front of a mirror; a boxer was relaxing on a chair and a young woman was jumping rope, perhaps to put control her weight.
“We don’t even have a ring to engage in boxing,” the boxer, said. “Boxing is just suffering if not already dead in Liberia.”
Perhaps so, but what he did not know is that boxing is among the minor sports that has suffered from government and corporate support.
“Over a year ago,” the boxer said, “we had a ring that we mounted at the Sports Commission for our activities.”
That was in fact more than two years ago. Now there is no ring and despite the interest of few young people for the sport, there is nothing suggesting a future for the boxing.
And yet, “We want to participate in the African Youth Championship in Botswana,” he said.
He admitted to the Daily Observer that without intensive local training and bouts to test a boxer’s readiness for competition, it does not make much sense to send a team of Liberian ‘boxers’ to represent the country abroad.
“It is not done that way,” he said, “but we don’t have a way out of it.” That hopeless admission was the struggle the late boxing legend, Baby Joe Boker, carried many years without success.
“The best support for boxing has always come from the Liberia National Olympic Committee,” said a knowledgeable boxing fan. “Which were periodic seminars that were never complemented by the Liberia Boxing Association due to poor management.”
The Daily Observer learned yesterday that interested boxers, ages from 15-18 are being trained at its gym, near the Sports Commission; it does not suggest that the sport will receive any revival in the near future.
“Without a ring and other materials that make the sport attractive,” the boxer said, “let’s consider boxing is dead for now.”
It is also sad that Liberian boxing does not have any heroes, and there is no record about those who succeeded in life through boxing.