The national boxing team coach Khumiso Ikgopoleng has this week opened up on what he thought about Oteng Oteng’s controversial loss at the preliminary stages of the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Oteng lost in the preliminary stages against his Puerto Rican opponent Cintron Ocasio, 17, despite seemingly having won two of the three rounds with ease. The decision even shocked the commentator after the bout. During the bout, London Olympic games boxing commentators had mentioned that Ocasio’s parents were boxing administrators. Speaking on the shock decision for the first time in Gaborone this week, Ikgopoleng said Oteng had fought well and deserved to win the fight. He argued that the local boxer was made to lose deliberately so that his opponent could have a medal chance. “Oteng had a chance to win a bronze medal,” he said, adding that the alleged conspiracy against the local boxer did not work as Ocasio himself was knocked out of the competition by Russian Misha Aloin who won a bronze Medal at the games. “They (judges) though that Ocasio would breeze through the competition after getting rid of Oteng,” he said.
However, Ikgopoleng said Oteng was still young and he would have a chance to compete in both the 2014 Commonwealth games and the 2016 Rio Olympic games. For his part, the soft-spoken and ever humble Oteng said the decision was taken by the judges and there was not much he could do about it. Oteng did not have much to say about his short or long term future in the ring. “I will not be competing in the Mooka Mageu national boxing championship,” he said, adding that he will compete in the Best of the best competition where four of the country’s best amateur boxers are chosen to compete from each category.
Meanwhile, the 2012 edition of the Keone Mooka Mageu national boxing championship kicks off this weekend at the new Lobatse stadium multi purpose hall. The Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) said the tournament would be staged at preliminary, quarterfinals and semi finals stage, while the finals will be held in Gaborone on 15th September.
The tournament will draw boxers from schools (BISA), champions from regions as a well as regular boxers from clubs. The tournament also provides an opportunity for young boxers to make the national team selections.