Featured image from Liberia Boxing Association.
Boxing is not new to Liberia. However, the sport has been mute for many years. Now, some noticeable changes have arrived. First, the Liberia Boxing Association (LBA) has a new president, Mr. Jonathan Wade. Also, the association has a new global ambassador, professional welterweight Freddy “Pretty Boy” Kiwitt. In this post, these newly appointed officials share what to expect.
LBA president Jonathan Wade.
Professional boxer Freddy Kiwitt.
1. What is the LBA’s main objective?
Wade sent Go Team Liberia a four year plan that includes the following:
- Seek good standing with mother boxing organization.
- Build positive relationships with local authorities (ie. MYS and LNOC).
- Participate in international events.
- Train athletes and officials.
- Seek local and international corporate sponsors.
- Construct facilities and procure equipment.
- Establish boxing clubs across Liberia.
- Host local or international tournaments.
- Create professional boxers (at least 3).
2. What is the organization doing to accomplish its main objectives?
Wade: We have instituted a weekly awareness program in Monrovia. During the program, Amateur boxers go on the street on Saturdays to perform and talk to people. For the first time we have had our own office in the boxing gym. We have also managed to raise money individually to pay for our annual subscription with Aiba. The street awareness has been funded by us (i.e. the executive members of the LBA and the Amateur boxers).
3. Please share the association’s biggest accomplishment?
Wade: The biggest accomplishment is that, for the first time in over 20 years a boxing ring has been donated to the LBA through our earnest appeal launched by “Boxing Is Love” – a charitable organisation in the USA.
“As a gesture of partnership, our organization has donated a proper professional grade boxing ring that can be used for competition at both the amateur and professional level.” — Jason Scalzo (“Boxing Is Love” Executive Director)
4. What has been the biggest challenge?
Wade: The biggest challenge has been finance. We do not have any financial support from anywhere – neither the central government nor any sports organisation.
5. Is the organization doing anything to develop female boxers?
Wade: The LBA currently has 3 female boxers in training and it is part of our vision to recruit and train more potential female boxers.
6. Are there any top prospects or talents that the Association has identified?
Wade: The LBA has identified a few talents in Liberia who are currently training. One of our professional boxers [based in the UK], Frederick G Kiwitt will be fighting in the UK for the European Welterweight Title.
Kiwitt will compete for the European Welterweight Title on February 22, 2019. The match will take place in London, York Hall. If he wins this match, he will rank among the world’s top ten and have a clear shot at the World Title. The professional fighter has been an advocate for developing the sport in Liberia. He even participated in a boxing mission with Boxing is Love and Save More Kids. Most recently, the Liberian boxer won a match in Accra, Ghana against Ghanaian Frank Dodzi. Kiwitt has high hopes and big plans for the sport in Liberia. “I want to plan an amateur event in Liberia,” he shares. He even has his eyes on the African title. For now, Kiwitt is focusing on his career and using his platform to promote boxing in Liberia.
“I definitely will be doing some programs and plans in Liberia in the nearer future,” he says.