When the past met the future

A CHANCE meeting between the past and the future, at Raylton Sports Club in Harare over a decade ago, continues to inspire a rising boxer on his journey to greatness.

The late boxing legend Langton “Schoolboy” Tinago whispered a few nuggets to Tinashe “Chairman” Madziwana soon after the latter had won his third professional bout against Lovewell Maphosa on November 30, 2007.

Wakuda kutora ruoko rwangu (You have the capacity to follow in my footsteps),” Tinago told a then 18-year-old Madziwana. Such a seal approval made Madziwana believe. After all Tinago was a doyen of local boxing.

He was a three-time Commonwealth champion and when he died in Gweru last week he still commanded the record of being the only pugilist ever to hold the Zimbabwe lightweight and welterweight titles simultaneously.

“Those words are still fresh in my memory. Each time I doubt myself I remember the words of Tinago,” said Madziwana.

Madziwana is set to defend his bantamweight title against Felix “Shortgun” Tembo in August while plans are also afoot for “Chairman” to go for an African title at the next Kalakoda Kwese Friday Fight Night which has been tentatively set for August 31.

The 27-year-old Tembo won on points, albeit controversially against United Kingdom boxer Marc Leach at the Kalakoda Kwese Fight Night Series held at the Harare International Conference Centre last weekend.

Apart from Tembo, who holds a 9-5-2 record, Tinashe Mutodza is also after Madziwana’s national title.

“We will have to sit down with my management No Pain No Gain and see which offer is enticing,” said Madziwana whose record now stands at 15-12-0

“As a boxer all you want to do is fight and prove that you are worthy champion. We the current generation have to follow the attitude that the late Tinago and other legends had, work hard all the time.”

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