‘I’m ready for Mercado’

12 Mar, 2023 - 00:03 0 Views
‘I’m ready for Mercado’ Kudakwashe “Take Money” Chiwandire

The Sunday Mail

Langton Nyakwenda

Sports Reporter

AS she leaves behind her three kids to embark on a mission that some believe is impossible, Zimbabwean female boxer Kudakwashe “Take Money” Chiwandire carries a lot on her shoulders.

The 27-year-old has a chance to restore Africa’s pride when she takes to the ring in Chihuahua, Mexico, on Saturday.

She squares up against World Boxing Council (WBC) Super bantamweight champion Yamileth “Yeimi” Mercado, hoping to upset the applecart.

Chiwandire is also hoping to make Africa proud once again.

The last African female boxer to hold the WBC Super bantamweight title was Fatuma Zarika of Kenya.

She was dethroned by Mercado on November 16, 2019, and, since then, the Mexican has successfully defended her title four times.

Her latest defence was a unanimous decision win over fellow Mexican Mariana Juarez in October.

Juarez is a highly rated boxer, who is ranked number two by the WBC.

WBC is regarded as the top boxing sanctioning body in the world.

While Mercado was taking care of Juarez, Chiwandire was also asserting her influence in the WBC Super bantamweight category.

The Zimbabwean defended her WBC Interim Super bantamweight title against another Mexican, Zulina Munoz, via a unanimous decision in Harare on October 15 and earned the right to challenge for the WBC Super bantamweight gold belt.

The fight between Mercado and Chiwandire has been described as “a power duel” by the WBC.

Mercado, the first Chihuahuan to win a world title, and Chiwandire will headline a boxing gala that will be screened live across Mexico on the popular network Azteca 7, which is regarded as the “House of Boxing” in Mexico.

The WBC describes Mercado (20-3-0) as a fighter with “great technique, resources and experience”, while Chiwandire (6-2-1) is considered “an African sensation”.

Known as “La Catedral”, the match venue has a capacity of more than 10 000 spectators.

However, 12 000 are expected to watch the duel. They will most likely be rallying behind their local champion Mercado, who turns 25 on Thursday.

But that does not scare Chiwandire a bit.

“We have studied her fights and we have learnt a lot. Now, we are ready to go and get the belt,” Chiwandire said.

“Mexico is known for producing good boxers; we all know that. You cannot compare Mexico and African nations like Zimbabwe when it comes to boxing.

“Boxers from Mexico have all the resources and opportunities. Here in Zimbabwe, we struggle to get the required resources, but that also makes us strong.

“We strive to be successful because of the conditions that we find ourselves in,” she said.

By taking to the ring, Chiwandire will make history on Saturday.

She will become the first Zimbabwean boxer to fight for a WBC world title.

Charles Manyuchi is a former WBC title holder but he only went as far as the Silver welterweight belt.

“That is also encouraging me.

“I am going to Mexico to take the belt — nothing more, nothing less. I am not afraid of Mercado.”

Chiwandire leaves for Mexico today in the company of trainer and manager Clyde Musonda.

“I have done my part in terms of preparing the girl; it’s now over to her,” said Musonda.

“Yes, Mercado has an impressive record and she will be fighting at home, but we have done our homework and I can assure you, we have a great chance of making history.

“The boxer is in shape; everything is in place, thanks to our sponsors KGK Logistics and RM Plumbing, and we are ready for Mexico.”

  Twitter: @LangtonGuraz


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