Local boxers and other stakeholders should brace for tough and rough economic times after Malawi Professional Boxing Control Board (MPBCB) hiked licence fees by 50 percent.
To obtain or renew a licence, professional boxers will be required to pay K10,000, up from K5,000. The boxers have since challenged the board’s decision.
For a trainer to be eligible to be at a boxers’ corner, he is now supposed to pay K10,000, also up from K5,000.
Promoters and matchmakers have not been spared either as they will pay K15,000 for a licence, up from K10,000.
To sanction a title fight, promoters must pay K50,000, instead of K40,000.
MPBCB spokesperson, Frank Chibisa, justified the hike as being in line with the current economic conditions of the country.
“We should not lie here. The country is facing economic challenges. To meet operational costs we rely on such fees. Ringside officials have to travel to venues using money realized from such fees. We also need stationery, internet and sometimes, courier services to clear boxers for either local or international fights,” he said.
“We are being considerate. A lot is involved when administering boxing, and we have no other means of sourcing funds. This happens everywhere, and if we had a sponsor, we could not have been charging,” he said.
However, Chibisa said other things, including a cut on a boxers’ contractual fee, remain the same at two percent of a boxer’s contract fee for a local fight and five percent for an international bout.
In reaction, local lightweight champion, Salimu Chazama, said the board was deducting a lot from the boxers.
“I have been told that we need to renew our licences. However, I think the board is already deducting a lot from us. They should have maintained the fees. This is a bloody sport where we get injured. To prepare for a fight, we spend about K100,000. Surprisingly, the purse money [contractual fee] is not going up,” he said.
Former bantam weight champion, Wilson Masamba, said the adjustments did not make any sense, adding “they are looking for more money, and yet their job is not that difficult.”
Both Chazama and Masamba asked the board for discussions to avoid frustrating boxers.