Johannesburg - Dingaan “The Rose of Soweto” Thobela has welcomed his election as the interim chairperson of the National Promoters Association committee.
He promises to contribute towards making boxing as vibrant as it was during “my boxing days”.
The former World Boxing Organisation, World Boxing Association lightweight and World Boxing Council super-middleweight champion was drafted to represent the Gauteng structure. The committee consists of seven people drawn from the respective provinces.
Mpumalanga and Western Cape are yet to submit the names of their representatives.
The temporary structure will spearhead the process towards the establishment of a permanent national association.
This came out of the promoters’ workshop hosted by Boxing SA (BSA) at the SABC’s Auckland Park offices in Johannesburg a fortnight ago. The seminar laid a firm foundation from which a national boxing promotions body can grow and thrive.
The interim structure has been earmarked to get boxing back to where it was before, when many more fights were staged.
And Thobela believes his input as the mouthpiece for promoters will help usher in a return to the glory days.
“Boxing was rated as the number two sport in the country, after soccer, during my time as a fighter, but has sadly dropped out of the top 10.
“We want to take the sport back to where it belongs, which is on the pinnacle,” said Thobela.
He said working closely with BSA as promoters, they would put together a structure that would rekindle the interest of fighters, sponsors, fans and everyone who contributed towards the “love of the sport”.
The Rose said they would work closely with BSA to help send through their proposals to get more television dates that would attract more sponsors.
“We are requesting the corporate world to open up their doors when we come knocking,” he said.
Thobela has also been elected treasurer of the new Gauteng Promoters Association. Veteran promoter Obed Molekwa is the chairperson, while Andre Thysse is his deputy.
The Rose co-owns a boxing promoting body called TLB with erstwhile global titlists Lehlohonolo “Hands of Stone” Ledwaba and Jan “Kid Gavilan” Bergman.