The boxing fraternity has bemoaned the closure of M1 Centre Point by Lilongwe City Council on Thursday.
The popular entertainment joint became a boxing haven because of the dilapidated condition of Lilongwe Community ground.
Promoters, boxing authorities and boxers have reacted with disappointment to the news.
“Centre Point was just a true partner of boxing. They did a lot not only to host boxing, but to promote individual boxers through provision of resources,” said Patrick Ngwenyama of Ngwenyama Boxing Promotions.
The City council cited lack of compliance with the conditions set for the licence as the main reason for closure.
The council’s conditions were that M1 Centre Point, which operates within Area 36 residential area, should stop outdoor performance by 10pm to reduce noise pollution.
Boxer Mussa Mkwanda said he hopes the issue can be resolved quickly.
“They need to settle this issue as soon as possible. Any delay will affect boxing negatively,” he said.
Liwonde-based boxer Chikondi Makawa has faulted LCC for the closure.
“The problem is that government has neglected sports infrastructure. M1 Centre Point has been complementing government in the promotion of boxing. It’s unfair for the council to close the facility. It’s high time government constructed a sports complex as a venue for various sports,” he said.
Promoter Mike Chimalidza of New Dawn Boxing Promotions said closure of places that are causing noise pollution after 10pm is in order but to mention boxing as a cause of pollution is not right.
“I don’t understand why they are mentioning boxing events as being a nuisance. Boxing is done before 10pm. This is a big blow because M1 was enjoying better patronage than all other venues I have organised boxing.
“It’s also cheaper than the community ground where they demand 25 percent of gross yet boxing has small patronage than football. So many promoters will be frustrated,” he said.
Malawi Professional Boxing Control Board (MPBCB) president Lonzoe Zimba said he is yet to be officially informed about the closure, but admitted that M1 Centre Point has been the hub of boxing for both local and international flights.