JUST when I thought I was done with last week’s piece, ‘Readers’ Reactions,’ some feedback on the column published a fortnight ago regarding Exodus Boxing Stables boxer, Pethias Chisenga and stables owner, Anthony Mwamba, there have been new developments which cannot be ignored.
I’m on firm ground from impeccable boxing sources that following Chisenga’s unsuccessful tilt at the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) international featherweight title won by Namibian Abmerk Shudjuu in Namibia, the Zambian and another boxer, a Congolese, want to part company with Mwamba, citing two alleged wrongs against them.
First, the fighters did not see their fight contracts before or after entering the ring. Second, they were allegedly paid peanuts and because of these omissions, they believe they have had enough and they are now actively looking for new stables to join.
I asked Mwamba if he was aware of this development and he responded: “I am hearing this from you. I haven’t heard any complaint from any of my boxers.” Mwamba took advantage of the moment to react to accusations that he may have falsified Chisenga’s fight record and agreed with my earlier assertion in this column that the boxer had only four fights and not 10 as reported in the media. Mwamba blamed the media for mistake.
He said the four-fight record was what he submitted to the fight commissioner and that contrary to claims, his boxer was fit to challenge for the WBO title as three months earlier Chisenga was due to fight for an IBF title which collapsed due to financial woes.
I asked acting Zambia Professional Boxing and Wrestling Control Board (ZPBWBC) secretary Chris Mulenga whether the board received a copy of the invitation letter from the Namibian promoter and seen the fight contracts.
He said the board received the letter and in line with Cap 136 of the Laws of Zambia cleared Exodus to Namibia.
Asked whether he was aware about the fight contracts and the boxers’ purse monies, Mulenga said that was a matter between the promoter (in this case the Nambian promoter) and the Zambian promoter (Mwamba) and the board does not come in.
Mulenga stressed, however, that boxers must ensure at all times to sign the fight contracts which show the amounts being fought for “before entering the ring.” He said if Mwamba’s boxers were aggrieved, the secretariat was open and they could lodge their complaints. Mulenga, meanwhile, appealed to all boxing promoters, boxers, ring officials, including corner men to ensure they renew their licenses by January 1, 2014. He said the rule regarding subscription had changed and the board would not tolerate requests for renewals near a fight.
But the boxing insiders appealed to the board to critically look at the events surrounding the Namibian tournaments, noting that none of the 20 or so Zambian boxers who had been taken to that country won any fight.
The insiders wondered how the board could be unaware of the contents of the fight contracts which were key before clearance could be granted to a promoter. “If the board says they did not see the contract, that’s a serious anomaly which must be corrected,” the insiders said.
They explained the procedure leading to clearance. An invitation letter must be received by the board along with a contract signed by the promoter and the boxer after which the board issues the promoter a letter requesting for boxers’ medical examinations. After the medicals, the promoter goes back to the board for clearance.
“At this stage, the board must have a copy each of the letter, the contract and results of the medicals and finally they issue the clearance,” they said. In the case of the recent Namibia fights, the sources said, “it’s doubtful if the board had the contracts, going by the acting board secretary’s statement.”
The sources stressed that “no boxer can be cleared” to fight abroad without the board seeing the fight contracts and warned the board to dig deeper into the Namibian issue saying cases of this nature were a disaster waiting to happen in future. Ring Talk wishes its readers a productive and rewarding firstname.lastname@example.org / 0966 755 574