16 February 2013

Zambia: Saili Is a Coward - - Mwamba

REPRIEVED boxing trainer-cum manager Anthony Mwamba has labeled former Boxing Board of Control (BBC) secretary, Ben Saili a coward for quitting his position on Thursday.

Mwamba, whose suspension by BBC was lifted by Sports Minister Chishimba Kambwili this week, said he was surprised with Saili's unexpected resignation as he expected him to stick to his guns even in 'troubled' times.

The Exodus Boxing Promotion proprietor, who has been at the centre of the trouble that has engulfed professional boxing, said it was the entire BBC that was involved in this and if there was one person to resign it should have been the chairpersson, Nelson Sapi.

"But it is surprising that Saili has decided to resign. The person, who could have resigned, was the chairman but by him resigning, it shows that the matter was just personal. I will meet the minister on Tuesday as suggested and see the way forward," he said.

Professional boxing in the country has got involved in a bitter rift between Mwamba and the BBC who accused him of issuing disparaging remarks against the national boxing controlling body besides taking a boxer to Scotland with falsified medicals.

The BBC then suspended Mwamba and his Exodus Boxing stables for 90 days but Kambwili swiftly moved to cancel the suspension and called for a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the matter.

But Saili felt aggrieved about the turn of events and opted to quit from the board with Kambwili immediately saying the resignation was 'good riddance'.

However, Sapi declined to comment on the resignation of Saili.

And former Zambia Amateur Boxing Federation general secretary, Bright Chomba regretted the whole development, saying it undermined all efforts made in the growth of professional boxing and would erode the confidence the sports had lately gained.

Chomba said that the chain of events that started with resignation of female boxing star Esther Phiri, then that of Saili was sad news and had the potential to undermine the upcoming Oriental Quarries Stables promotion tournament for Catherine Phiri next month.

"To avert a disaster in boxing administration, let the minister as he has suggested meet the parties involved next Tuesday and discuss the constitution of the professional boxing board so that everyone is made aware of the provisions.

"The bottom line should be to bring all the people together and start afresh. Resignation of the General Secretary stalls boxing administration and reduces confidence from the boxing lovers," he said.

Chomba expressed hope that the matter would be resolved amicably so as to save the face of the country in the eyes of the international community who have faith in Zambian boxing.

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