I EXPECTED a reaction from the inactive boxing stables at whom last week’s column titled “Emulate Mitanda’’ was targeted but instead, the response came from Mitanda Boxing Stables manager Gary Sibanda.
Sibanda first phoned and later sent me a text message to agree with what I said in the column whose main theme was a call for team work among promoters against a backdrop of the large number of idle boxing stables in Zambia.
Some of the stables exist in name or on paper only and have not staged a tournament since their registration with the Zambia Professional Wrestling and Boxing Control Board and appear headed for extinction if they do not come out of their shells and think innovatively, the article warned.
To recap, the article recalled the previous week’s media reports in which Sibanda praised Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions and Exodus Boxing Promotions of Lusaka for partnering with his stables in staging the July 1 international tournament in Ndola aimed at stimulating interest in the sport.
The July 1 tournament to be staged at the Z-Mart Mall will feature former World Boxing Council champions Catherine Phiri and Charles Manyuchi in separate bouts.
Last week I wrote: “About two years ago Mitanda tried, but failed to stage a tournament on their own because they managed to raise only part of the budgeted figure. What’s the significance of the union of three stables? In a word, teamwork. Team work is an important aspect of creating a well-oiled machine to get tasks and projects done. It means cost sharing among other things.”
In his text message Sibanda said his stable had set aside a K20,000 to camp the Copperbelt team for the tournament and thanked Most Hardware for coming on board with boxing kit worth K6,000.
He also extended his gratitude to Gomes Haulage who were the main sponsor of the September 9, 2016 tournament at Ndola Swimming Pool and are again part one of the sponsors for next month’s tournament.
The other sponsors who came in for praise are Chembe Logistics, BBC One Collection, Antelope Milling, Nelkhati Lime, Sharkit Engineering and Lake Petroleum.
Sibanda said: “We thank you and hope you will continue with this spirit which will raise interest in boxing to a whole new level on the Copperbelt. Perhaps other companies in Zambia can learn something from what you are all doing.”
Meanwhile, in a highly competitive and entertaining bout, undefeated American rising star Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr (22-0, 19 KO’s) showed this past week why he is being touted as possibly the next Floyd Mayweather Jr.
He is being compared to the retired great not in style (Spence is a south pole; Floyd an orthodox) or defensive skills, but in focus and self-belief to succeed. In his first world title challenge, Spence dethroned an awkward, tricky and strong Kell Brook (37-2, 25 KO’s) to take the IBF title via an 11th round technical knock out in Brook’s backyard in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England at the Bramall Lane Football Grounds.
I was hesitant to predict the winner of that contest because styles make fights and both Brook and Spence move and box well, but I leaned towards Spence because when it comes to concentration and single minded determination he is like Mayeather and it came to pass.
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