Inside sport: Let’s give her the support

Kudakwashe Chiwandire

CELEBRATIONS have died down but the manner in which Kudakwashe Chiwandire defended her World Boxing Council silver belt will remain a permanent feature of Zimbabwe’s sporting history.

The unanimous points win over Mexico’s Zulina Munoz has left many talking not only in Zimbabwe, but also abroad about the new Zimbabwean sports star and what the future holds for her.

In fact, it was heartening to see hundreds of Zimbabweans converge at the venue of the fight against Munoz to support Chiwandire despite the high costs of the tickets.

Even after the fight, Chiwandire received a lot of financial support getting donations far much more than the $20 000 purse money she got for overcoming Munoz.

In fact, Chiwandire could have won the fight within the distance after knocking down Munoz twice in the fourth and fifth rounds but the Mexican managed to hold on until the end.

Yet this fight could have been a no show after being postponed twice due to lack of funds until the government came to the rescue with the purse money and the finances for other expenses.

This was the first time that the government came on hand to financially support a boxing bout since the attainment of independence in 1980.

What happened with the initial Munoz fight should not be repeated and it would be cruel for Chiwandire to fail to travel to Mexico for a crack at the WBC gold belt due to lack of funds.

The Zimbabwean is billed to fight Yemileth Mercado of Mexico for the WBC gold belt, the most prestigious belt in the division. Mecardo has just defended her title against compatriot Marian Juarez.

As the challenger, Chiwandire will have to travel to Mexico for the Mercado fight in the same manner that Munoz also travelled to Harare to challenge Chiwandire for the silver belt.

Some might argue that February 2023 is far away but things should be put in order right now instead of doing things at the last minute.

The fight against Mercado will not be easy and Chiwandire needs to prepare fully for the pressure ahead even if it means training in South Africa or even England or the USA where there is advanced equipment.

Success in sport and in particular boxing does not come on a silver plate but through hard work and Chiwandire needs to train harder in order to win the belt that nobody in Zimbabwe has ever won.

The best a Zimbabwean boxer has gone was the WBC silver belt that Charles Manyuchi won. Both Langton ‘Schoolboy’ Tinago and Zvenyika Arifonso reached Commonwealth championship level.

Proud Kilimanjaro Chinembiri and Stix McLoud were Africa Boxing Union champions and McLoud failed in his bid for the Commonwealth title while Kilimanjaro failed his medicals for a crack at the WBA world title against Frank Bruno of Britain.

However, to reach the WBC gold level, Chiwandire needs money and those who can afford should come forward to support her achieve her long-cherished dream.

Chiwandire's success will not be hers only but for the whole country if not for Africa as a continent.

If the support she received after defending her silver belt can be repeated, then she would be on the right path to glory.

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