Local boxing analyst Elson Mwankhomwa has discouraged the tradition of throwing a towel during the fight.
A main trainer, who is normally referred to as a chief second, throws in a towel when his or her boxer is taking too much punishment during the fight as a sign of surrender.
During the last week’s ‘Night of Belts’ fight between Tanzanian Allan Kamote and Malawian Wellington Balakasi in Blantyre, the latter’s second threw in a towel in round number four when his boxer had taken too much punishment to end the fight on technical knock out.
Although it is most often the case the referee does not have to accept this signal from the corner and it is not unheard of for a referee to throw the towel out again and for the bout to continue.
However, Mwakhomwa, said this tendency was outdated and is prone to confusion because anyone could just throw in a towel.
He observed that new boxing rules allow chief second, the main trainer of the boxer, to stand across the ropes and ask the referee to stop the fight.
Mwakhomwa also said the chief second can jump into the ring as a sign of surrender.
He explained that some irate fans can just throw in a towel when they are not in agreement with what is happening in the ring and this can create confusion.
“You will observe that in most international fight this tradition (of throwing in a towel) stopped. It was creating confusion.”
However, National Professional Boxing Committee chairman Lonzoe Zimba disagreed with Mwakhomwa.
He said the rule is still being practised world over.
Zimba said nobody was allowed to talk to the referee when the bout is in progress.
“This is why the World Boxing Committee agreed that the only way the boxer’s corner men can communicate to the referee is by throwing in a towel,” he said.
He said two people were allowed to sit on the corner of the boxer, the coach and manager and these are the only ones who are authorised to throw in a towel.