Heavyweight boxer raring to go

In a showdown dubbed “Rumble Africa 2006”, Dube was first billed to take on South Africa’s Anthony Neil at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC), but the latter failed to submit his contract forms with the Zimbabwe Board of Boxing Control in time. Attempts to bring Kenyan heavyweight Raymond Ochieng as a last-minute replacement also failed to bear fruit as the East African also failed to make it to Harare. Ochieng’s promoter and manager, Atomic Bunde of Atomic Bomb Boxing Promotions, cited short notice as the reason his boxer would not fight, compelling the organisers of the tournament, Lionheart Boxing Productions, to cancel the duel. But despite not having thrown a single punch, Dube was paid 48% of his promised Z$120m as training fees inline with standing boxing regulations. He took home Z$53,6m, the biggest ever purse to be paid out to a local boxer in the history of the sport.

Stalin Mau Mau, the “Don King” of Zimbabwean boxing said of the recent failure by Dube to land an opponent:

“I think Our authorities here should just consult with the WBA Pan Africa office and have him (Dube) fight the current holder of the title. We should not continue having people who do not want to fight standing in the way because that will scuttle all the plans of more serious boxers”.

Richard Hondo, the Zimbabwe Board of Boxing Control chairman said his association would consider the call by the boxing sector to court the WBA Pan Africa on the issue as a matter of urgency.

“This was definitely going to be a defining moment for boxing in this country and Zimbabwe was going to be on the spotlight especially with the heavyweight bout as part of the bill. Everyone, including the boxer himself, has been let down, but we will do all we can to atone for Dube’s loss of chance”.

With 12 fights under his belt so far (11 of them victories) and noone to challenge him domestically, 23 year-old Tamsanqa is Zimbabwe’s only hope in his division, but four consecutive chances to fight a foreign boxer have eluded him within a period of just six months.

Late last year an opportunity to challenge Ghana’s Manuel Lee Osie for the African Boxing Union title was lost for no apparent reason and two months ago yet another bout against Francis “Galagata” Zulu of Zambia also failed to take part.

When the announcement that the Dube-Ochieng match would not be part of the line-up, a group of enthusiastic fans who braved the chilly June evening at the HICC could not stomach their disappointment, but were eventually given a five-star entertainment performance by a team of four Zambian boxers who were present.

Three out of the four Zambians (Godwin Mutampuka, Esther Phiri and Matthews Chifumpeni) won their respective bouts while Charles Kauseni was outclassed by Peter Pambeni of Zimbabwe.

June 2006
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