EDITORIAL COMMENT: Local boxing puts Zim back on a global stage

The Herald

The World Boxing Council (WBC) provisional super-bantamweight title fight comes to Zimbabwe for the first time this year.

Boxing queen Kudakwashe “Take Money” Chiwandire is hosting Mexican Zulina Munoz in a mandatory defense competition at the Harare International Conference Center on August 20.

This is a proud time for the nation to reflect on the progress made in the sport, especially empowering the little girl to take up boxing as a sport and a possible career.

This sport was previously a preserve for men. But lately, we’ve also seen girls get involved from the ground up and even get involved in bringing a world title to Zimbabwe.

Degrees should be given to the Zimbabwe National Boxing and Wrestling Board, the advertisers, sponsors and many other stakeholders who have taken it upon themselves to ensure that the sport has survived challenges faced by the sport over time.

A few years ago we celebrated another champion in Charles Manyuchi, who also invented the WBC welterweight silver belt after beating Russian Dmitry Mikhailenko in Ekaterinburg.

Although he went on to lose the title, Manyuchi established himself as one of the best boxers in South Africa.

With that, we can safely say that boxing is still alive and well in Zimbabwe, despite the various challenges.

Chiwandire has recently given the nation renewed hope in the sport, which has become popular in the past with the likes of Proud “Kilimanjaro” Chinembiri, Langton “Schoolboy” Tinago and Zvenyika “Mosquito” Arifonso.

It also came with financial rewards for her after she received a token of $ 15,000 from President Mnangagwa for her success.

Chiwandire staged a big act away from home when she defeated Zambian star Catherine Phiri to become Zimbabwe’s first-ever orthodontist in boxing.

The victory brought more opportunities for Zimbabwe. Many girls will be inspired. But more importantly, the country will be in the spotlight ahead of the planned title defense.

This is a great event for Zimbabwe. The tournament the first for Zimbabwe and the third for Africa is dubbed “Fire in the Hole”, and features nine supporting bouts that include two African Boxing Union matches and a national title fight.

The government, through the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation, has since promised to provide financial and technical support for this mega-event, which has a budget of $ 197,000.

A number of corporations are also expected to enter to support with KGK Logistics, Genau, Gypsite, Carso5 and Pro Fitness an already subscribed partnership In addition to the Latin American opponent for the main battle (Munoz), other countries participating in this one. tournament is Namibia, South Africa, DRC, Zambia, Malawi, Botswana and Kenya.

Chiwandire, who comes from a poor background, had her life changed because she is guaranteed to walk home $ 20,000 richer after the incident.

Even Sports Minister Kirsty Coventry was keen on the importance of the event both economically and in terms of mileage for the country.

The event will increase the country’s continental and global visibility through media coverage that will be shared in more than 190 countries affiliated to the WBC. It is an opportunity to take the Zimbabwean story from a Zimbabwean perspective.

As such, there is the possibility of contributing to the generation of revenue through media rights, sponsorship, partnerships and live streaming.

An estimated revenue of at least $ 250,000 will be generated directly through tourism receipts and, indirectly, through other economic activities around this event.

To show the enormity of this fight, Chiwandire faces an opponent rated the third best active female bantamweight boxer in the world.

The improved performance of the sport of boxing in the country, depending on the creation of opportunities through action, will only lead to the participation of more of our athletes in continental and international battles.

We can do more as a nation by investing more in supporting sports and supporting our athletes to reach their full potential. The brighter our athletes are, the more the Zimbabwean flag is hoisted between nations.

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