SOLWEZI Stadium is undoubtedly the place to be this afternoon if you are a true boxing aficionado because Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions (OQBP) has laid on a K450,000- rich international tournament with eight bouts on the card.
I do not know what the mood is like in Solwezi as I write, but it would not be too presumptuous to declare that it is electric with fans itching to see former World Boxing Council (WBC) champs Catherine Phiri and Charles Manyuchi and African Boxing Union featherweight champ Alfred Muwowo in action against their respective foes.
Themed “Fighting early marriages” this tournament is significant as it is being used as a platform to raise awareness against early marriages which have wrecked the lives of young girls.
Fireworks are expected from all the eight bouts, but the spotlight really is likely to be on the trio of Cathy, Manyuchi and Muwowo. Goodwill ambassador for some corporate bodies Cathy faces off against Tanzanian Halima Yadima in an eight rounder.
In her last fight in Lusaka Cathy (14-11, 8KOs-3) destroyed Rukia Nasirite via a second round TKO at Government Complex in Lusaka and although Yadima is obviously a different fighter, she will discover why the young Zambian once held the WBC gold strap.
The return of Manyuchi (21-18,12KOs-3-1) is particularly exciting as he hasn’t fought in Zambia since July 2017 when he won an entertaining unanimous points decision against Sherif Kasongo of Exodus Boxing Academy.
This was four months after losing his WBC silver title to Kudratillo Abdukakhorov. He trades leather with Karage Suba who is an unknown quantity and could be overwhelmed by the crowd-pleasing, but hard-hitting Zimbabwean.
If you have watched Muwowo (8-0, 7KOs) before you can expect an explosive contest with Patrick Kamweri which is likely to end within the distance. Muwowo, in my opinion, is a smaller version of Mike Tyson. The way he relentlessly stalks opponents while letting his speedy hands go is awesome.
In his last fight, Muwowo defended his title by teaching vocal Dalisizwe Komani of South Africa a lesson in a two-round one-sided beat down. Unless Kamweri has a chin, he is likely to face the same fate as the South African.
Extra sparks will come from stylish Barbara Banda in a contest against Flora Machelo and tough and hard-hitting Mbiya Nkanku another ABU superwelterweight champion who battles Ntumba Mwamba. Nkanku won the title after knocking out Malawi’s Limbani Masamba in his backyard in Malawi.
The other bouts on the bill featuring Gracious Simwalizi against Philemon Hara and Remmy Simbeya versus Regina Malele, although not the major attractions, could be worth your time and money.
So, OQBP have done their part by bringing this tournament to a rural outpost which is emerging as an economic giant, fans should not miss the chance and should troop to the venue and see and learn a thing or two about boxing.
Meanwhile, WBC heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder’s camp have offered WBA/WBO/IBF king Anthony Joshua $50 million to put together the fight everyone wants to see between them this year.
Wilder said to Joshua: “Mate, I sent this (email) personally this time just so there’s no miscommunication. Tell Eddie Hearn (Joshua’s promoter) to let you check his personal email this time.
By the way, I sent your manager the same email as well. I’m looking forward to our meeting in the ring.” Things are beginning to get interesting.
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