The Sunday Mail
IT was a bad week for Zimbabwean boxing as two pugilists were, within the space of a few days, floored in international assignments.
First to go down fighting was Zimbabwe heavyweight boxing champion, Vincent Muziri, who was knocked out in the third round by Ardi Ndembo of Congo Brazzaville on October 14.
As a result of the drubbing, Muziri’s dream of landing the African Boxing Union (ABU) Southern region heavyweight title went up in smoke.
The bout, which was clearly a mismatch, was held in Tanzania.
Barely two days after Muziri’s loss, Ndodana Ncube, another local boxer, was also humiliated in Windhoek, Namibia.
Ncube found the going tough at the Windhoek Country Club, where he was knocked out in the second round by Namibian, Jeremiah Nakathila.
The bout was scheduled for eight rounds and was a non-title fight.
After the two defeats, questions regarding the level of fitness and preparedness of local boxers ahead of international bouts have started doing the rounds.
“I wonder why local boxers are rushing to fight when they are clearly not prepared. Two straight knock-outs within four rounds does not paint a very good picture for local boxing,” Stan Nyoni, a former professional boxer, said.
Clyde Musonda, the boxing trainer who accompanied the losing pugilists to Tanzania and Namibia, attributed the defeats to ring-rust.
“Muziri is a member of the Zimbabwe National Army and hardly finds time to train.
“Ndodana has been inactive and as a result, he lost,” Musonda said.
After failing to inspire local boxers in foreign rings, Musonda will tonight be in the corner of female Malawian boxer Anisha ‘Massacre’ Bashir.
Bashir, the Commonwealth light-welterweight champion, will go toe-to-toe against Kenya’s Sarah Achieng in Nairobi, Kenya.
Musonda said unlike Muziri and Ndodana, Anisha is a tried-and-tested boxer, who rarely loses away from home.
“Anisha is a complete boxer. She has got speed and throws hard punches. Achieng will not last 10 rounds,” said Musonda, who was speaking from Nairobi.