The Sunday Mail
AFRICAN boxing champion Chamunorwa “Sting” Gonorenda says he defended his WBF cruiserweight title fairly amid claims that the Zimbabwean won Friday night’s bout because of a hometown decision.
The 34-year-old Gonorenda won unanimously against Nigerian hard-hitter Tony Salam in the main event of a six-bout card organised by Kalakoda boxing promotions at the Harare International Conference Centre.
The crowd that witnessed the title match was shocked when ring announcer Hugo Rubatika said Gonorenda – who could hardly see out of his swollen eyes – had won by a unanimous decision.
Salam who went into the match with a 11-1-0 record, dismissed Gonorenda’s win as an outright robbery that has the potential of killing the boxing spirit in Africa.
“If I may ask you, did he win that fight, honestly, did he?” Salam questioned after the match. “This was a robbery, I won that fight. It’s not fair, we train hard for a match but we lose mafia type. All the rounds I was hitting him but he wins in the end, that’s not fair. I want a rematch.”
But the Zimbabwean pugilist said he had won fairly.
“I fought like a champion, I was blocking his punches. In boxing it’s not about how many punches you throw; you can throw a million punches but what matters is how many land,” Gonorenda said.
“He can say he was robbed, he can cry about it but the fact is he didn’t land as much punches as I did. He is demanding a rematch, I can give him, anywhere, anytime, wherever across the world. But anyway I can’t stress myself with a loser, I want to move on,” said the WBF Africa cruiserweight champion.
Friday’s win took Gonorenda’s record to 12-12-0, and Zimbabwe’s number one cruiserweight now wants a shot at the big time.
“I think it’s now time for me to go for a world title,” he said.
Away from the controversy, Friday night saw the introduction of Zimbabwean women’s flyweight boxer Revai Madondo, who beat Martina Tjauha of Namibia in the opening bout.
Zimbabwe lightweight champion Chiedza Homakoma lost on points to Patricia Opolot of Uganda in the second fight of the night.
Homakoma, who had renowned trainer Issa Phiri in her corner, endured a barrage of punches for most of the bout but hung on until the last bell.
The super lightweight match between Peter Pambeni and Philip Musariri was declared a technical draw.