Houcine Houichi, the president of the African Boxing Union jetted in yesterday for the ABU Convention at Hotel Africana in Kampala today.
Salim Uhuru, the Uganda Professional Boxing Commission president, confirmed that delegates from Algeria, Tunisia, South Africa, Zambia, Guinea, Malawi are already in town while others form neighbouring Kenya and Tanzania are expected soon.
Business begins proper this morning promoters discuss, among other issues, the (exorbitant) sanctioning fees, which have undermined their efforts to organise regular and quality fights.
Likewise, promoters potentially face the nagging question of short-changing boxers which makes them live like paupers.
It is a trend that Houichi, who is also the World Boxing Council (WBC) vice president, strongly condemns.
“We shall surely take drastic action against those officials who continue ruining our good game,” Houichi said, as quoted by Daily Star where he presided over a WBC ring officials seminar in Nairobi, Kenya in April.
“We can’t continue sweeping things under the carpet then assume it’s business as usual. Kenya used to produce very good boxers but due to several malpractices, things have only come from bad to worse.”
Uhuru and his executive attended the workshop but Houichi, whose vast experience as an international fight supervisor, will surely reiterate the message here because it applies to Ugandans perhaps even the more.
“It’s a shame that some boxers are taken for overseas fights and their promoters end up taking the lion’s share of the purse. This has to stop,” Houichi said in Nairobi.
Charles Bakkabulindi and Godfrey Kiwanda, the respective ministers for sports and tourism, will preside over the official opening of the convention at Kagera Hall.
The subsequent days (Saturday and Sunday) will include a doctor’s meet, refresher courses for referees and judges, among others.
This is the second time Uganda is hosting the continental meet since 2005 at Hotel Equatorial.