By GRACE CHAILE –
ORIENTAL Quarries Boxing Promotion (OQBP) has signed a 19-year-old Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) boxer, Mbiya ‘Nkoyi Mobali’ Kanku on a three-year contract.
And OQBP yesterday announced a K280, 000 deficit required to successfully stage the double World Boxing Council (WBC) title fights at the Government Complex in Lusaka on March 15.
Speaking during a signing ceremony in Lusaka yesterday, OQBP operations manager Christopher Malunga said his stable decided to sign Kanku because he was a good boxer.
Malunga said the reason behind OQBP signing the youngster was because of the good skill he showed when he fought African Boxing Union (ABU) welterweight champion, Charles Manyuchi in May last at Arthur Davies Stadium in Kitwe, a fight that saw Manyuchi knock out a stubborn Kanku in the 10th round.
The charismatic Congolese boxer is no stranger to Zambian fans having put up an exhilarating performance last September that saw him take a third round knockout over Malawian Limbani Masamba in the supporting bouts for Catherine Phiri’s ABU women bantamweight title fight against Uganda’s Toma Hawa-Babirye.
“We are excited to have signed Kanku whose middle name ‘Nkoyi Mobali’ means Tiger and we therefore expect him to fight like one. We decided to sign Kanku after noticing the potential in him after he fought and lost to Manyuchi in the 10th round, but we shall not rush him for we want him to fight two to three fights before he can challenge for an international title,” Malunga said.
And Kanku, who will fight Takuzwa Kuchocha from Zimbabwe in a welterweight fight on March 15, said he was happy to join QOBP making his wish come true.
His former coach from Congo, Nunbi Natta, who witnessed the signing ceremony, said he had allowed the boxer to join Oriental because it is a good stable.
Meanwhile, Malunga said his table was now looking for a shortfall of K280, 000 from its K753, 000 budget to host the double WBC title fights and that ZNBC and SuperSport have shown a positive response to beam live the fights live.
Superior Milling managing director Peter Cottan said his firm has extended the feeding programme for the boxers by two months.
Catherine, who fights Pia Mazelanik of Germany in the women’s WBC bantamweight inter-continental title bout, said the change of the opponent has not affected her in anyway.
Zimbabwean boxer Manyunchi will fight former ABU champion Patrick Allotey from Ghana in the WBC welterweight Inter-continental title bout.