World Sports

Diamond team sparkles at awards

The Diamond Trading Company Boxing Club (DTCB) won big at the Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) awards on Saturday. The well-funded boxing club became the stars of the night when their southpaw prodigy Kabelo Bagwasi won the Most Promising Boxer of the Year award.

The 19 year-old flyweight had a meteoric rise in local amateur boxing circles when he defeated high profile boxers including 2010 Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Oteng Oteng, Commonwealth Games Silver medalist Tirafalo Seoko and Alpheus Farmer. Bagwasi beat Keabaka Motsebe of BMC and Kenneth Keotswele of BDF (Francistown) for the honour.

His coach Thebe Setlalekgosi won the hotly contested Coach of the Year award beating Master Luza of UB Boxing Club and Emmanuel Galebowe. In the past year, Setlalekgosi groomed brothers Kabelo and Kagiso Bagwasi to become the most feared left handed boxers in the country, pulling magnificent upsets against experienced boxers like Thato ‘Hands of Diamond team sparkles at awards Stone’ Batshegi. Setlalekgosi was also the national team coach when Botswana held the Africa Boxing Cup last year in July. Having won the coach of the year award, the DTCB mentor might be selected as an assistant to national team boxing coach Khumiso Ikgopoleng.

In his acceptance speech, Setlalekgosi said they have had success because of good leadership at the club. He also recognised Debswana for supporting the club financially. “They have never let us down,” he said. DTCB also walked away with the coveted Affiliate of the Year award. Other winners at the glittering event were Oteng of UB club, who retained his title as Boxer of the Year for the second year in a row, beating Seoko and his stable mate Mooketsi Lekgetho. Meanwhile, Pearl Morake won the Female Boxer of the Year award.