Boxers to trade leather in Zim
The Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) has been identified as the venue for the bill and a provisional booking for this day has already been made and confirmed. The potentially-explosive tournament, dubbed “Rumble Africa 2006”, will involve five countries, and will have as its main draw-card a World Boxing Association (WBA) Pan-Africa elimination bout between Zimbabwe national heavyweight champion Tamsanqa Dube and South Africa’s Anthony Neil. There will also be seven top-of-the shelf supporting bouts that will, among others, feature Brazilian welterweight champion Antonio Mesquita and another South African light-middleweight champion, William Gare. Mesquita, who has so far won 31 professional fights and lost none, is likely to take on Farai “Master” Kachigwada while Gare has been matched against Kachigwada’s young brother, Livingstone. The South African’s record could, however, not be established at the time of going to press. Time Bomb Promotions from Kenya are also likely to bring down two boxers in the company of their manager, Atomic Bunde, while final confirmation has yet to come from Zambia where the promoters are seeking a contract for the participation of former Commonwealth number one contender, Matthews Chifumpeni. The Zambian champion’s last tour of duty in Harare was some four years back when he lost (by a unanimous decision) a Zone Six title fight against Misheck Kondwani of the Mau Mau Boxing stable at the Raylton Club. The current decision by New York-based Lion Heart Boxing Productions to bring the massive tournament to Zimbabwe comes after heavyweight champion Dube and Modecai Donga (national super-middleweight champion) failed to secure a promoter to fight for the African Boxing Union (ABU) titles in which they were supposed to challenge current holders Manuel Lee Osie and Osuman Adama, both of Ghana, last year. Lion Heart is working in conjunction with Mpumalanga (South Africa) stable owner Paul Tshehla and Hunyani Promotions’ Dr Farai Muchena in the co-ordination of the event from this end. Five committees namely Publicity, Marketing and Advertising, Technical, Transport and Welfare, Security and Medical have been established and support from the corporate sector is already being sought according to information availed by tournament publicist Morris Chiwanga. Speaking from New York, the USA, Edward Mendy, Lion Heart’s financial controller said: “Yes, I can confirm that we are in the middle of organising the WBA-Pan Africa event for Harare on that date (May 27). Generally, our concern has been that despite the goodness of boxers from that region who have in the past been rated internationally, most have failed to find promoters and this eventually demoralises them causing good talent to go to waste. After this observation we then said to ourselves, as a promotion firm of international repute, why not put together something of this magnitude where talent will be paraded and we could also select a couple of boxers that we can sign on for our stable and for later promotions. And on another note, we would like to keep all of the profits from this particular fight to help promote boxing and future fights in Africa in general and the Southern African corridor in particular”. While discussions were being made to offer rights to interested regional and international television channels, Mendy said first preference would be given to Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings as their idea was to “see the locals benefiting from an event taking place on their own soil”. Although local boxers such as Misheck Kondwani, Farai Master, Spencer Matsangura, Peter Pambeni and Freddie Sauti have previously tried their luck in international competitions such as the Commonwealth, ABU and WBA, none of them has managed to bring home a title. Boxing critics interviewed however said they felt something might eventually come Zimbabwe’s way if boxers continue to be exposed to new and foreign opponents. The matchmaking for the confirmed WBA-Pan Africa bill is as follows: l Tamsanqa Dube (Zim) Vs Anthony Neil (SA) Heavyweight (12 Rounds). l Livingstone Master (Zim) Vs William Gare (SA) L/middleweight (8 Rnds). l Anthonio Mesquita (Bra) Vs Farai Master (Zim) W/weight (6 Rnds). l Bright Chabata Vs Davis Mafara Bantamweight title (10 Rnds). l Freddie Sauti Vs Tawanda Chigwida featherweight title (10 Rnds).