The Tanzania Professional Boxing Association, TPBO, has handed Morogoro-based top boxer Francis Cheka a life ban, the body’s president Yasin Abdallah announced at a press conference held in Dare s Salaam yesterday.
The severe penalty was handed to the boxer following his refusal to honour a non-title bout that was to be staged at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam as part of a fund raising function.
Cheka was to meet Japhet Kaseba on the ring and had earlier on the day took part in the weighing session to give an impression that he would honour the bout.
There was no reason strong enough to convince the TPBO on Cheka’s refusal to honour the bout that sent a big wave of disappointment to fans who turned out at the stadium.
The TPBO president said Cheka has been deregistered in their fleet of professional boxers and will never be allowed to fight in bouts sanctioned by the boxing body.
Abdallah said Cheka is allowed to compete against any boxer but as long as the bout is not sanctioned by the TPBO.
Abdallah said Cheka has ashamed the boxing profession for refusal to step on the ring while fans had turned out to enjoy the entertainment that never was.
“TPBO will never work with Cheka as he has ashamed the sport which had shaped his life and the fans had played a huge role to support him,” said Abdallah.
However, Abdallah was pleased by Bongo movie actors and Members of Parliament who participated in the fund raising event projected to boost education sector.
Abdallah said Cheka’s decision to shun the friendly bout would have disastrous consequences had the fans opted to riots.
“Take an imagination had the bout be a competitive one and fans had parted with entry fee only to be disappointed by Cheka’s no show. Certainly it could burst into chaos to cause disharmony of its kind,” Abdallah roared.
TPBO is on the view that Cheka failed to honour boxing fans and all those who turned out at the stadium for no apparent reason.
“Cheka has completely failed to respect boxing fans who have always been supporting him through payment of entry fees in bouts he has benefited most,” said Abdallah.
“We have lost many points to our enemies who will be relishing the downfall of the boxing profession through acts like this one. It will take time to rebuild image of the profession,” said Abdallah.
Meanwhile, Cheka said he did not intend to offend boxing fans and he apologises for what happened.
He said the TPBO knew in advance of his decision not to turn up at the stadium.
Cheka’s opponent Kaseba who lost a competitive bout in 2010 has been disappointed by the no show.
Kaseba had won a TPBO bout over Maneno Osward, a move he believes might have frightened Cheka who has been maintaining unbeaten run for years.
“I was sure to knock him out in the ring and that is the reason he opted for no show last Saturday,” said Kaseba.
The TPBO has been struggling to rebuild its image following the 2008 Port Louis narcotics scandal that rocked the boxing fraternity in the country.
Abdallah was at one time quoted saying that sponsors have shunned providing support whenever TPBO is searching for help to promote the game.