The South African city of Durban is to host the inaugural African Boxing Cup named after Nelson Mandela, the first democratically elected President of South Africa and internationally revered for his unwavering devotion to democracy, equality, and learning. The event is scheduled to take place 9-14 October 2023 at the Durban International Convention Centre.
A prize fund is at stake for boxers split between all 25 men’s and women’s weight categories.
IBA President Umar Kremlev noted the importance of the event, stating, ‘We are immensely proud to be launching the African Boxing Cup named in honor of Nelson Mandela, a man who symbolized the indomitable human spirit and the fight for freedom and equality. Mandela was very closely linked to boxing; despite he had never fought. This emphasizes the core values of our sport. It doesn’t matter whether you just practice boxing or fight at the elite level, boxing gives you all it has.’
‘This event aims to foster unity, celebrate diversity, and elevate boxing talent across Africa,’ President Kremlev went on to say. ‘With Durban as the host city and an exceptional prize fund, this competition marks a historic moment in the sport of boxing. It is a commitment to nurturing talent, empowering communities, and promoting sportsmanship in the great continent of Africa.’
The Mandela Cup will be held by the South African Boxing Organization (SANABO) and supported by the IBA, AFBC and Thembekile Mandela Foundation (TMF) with Ndileka Mandela, who is its Founder and CEO, granddaughter of Nelson Mandela.
‘One of the things Grandad spoke about with regards to boxing was, more than the sports itself, it taught him a strategy as both to attack and retreat, how one paced oneself over a match, and ones need to gauge the opponent's move before striking,’ Ms Mandela said.
Mandela wrote in his biography book about the sport. ’Boxing is egalitarian. In the ring, rank, age, color, and wealth are irrelevant. When you are circling your opponent, probing his strengths and weaknesses, you are not thinking about his color or social status,’ reads his “Long Walk to Freedom.”
The AFBC Congress is to take place on 13 October on the sidelines of the Mandela Cup. The delegates will elect the new AFBC President to succeed Mr. Bertrand Mendouga. Currently, Mr Azania Omo-Agege is the Interim President of AFBC. The candidates will be announced after rigorous integrity checks.