The Sunday Mail
While the World Boxing Council (WBC) might have joined the rest of the world in celebrating International Day of Peace on Wednesday, it will be war when Kudakwashe Chiwandire clashes with Zulina Munoz of Mexico for the Interim Super Bantamweight title at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) on Saturday.
Munoz is expected to arrive in the country early this week.
She carries an impressive 53-4-2 record.
The fight against Chiwandire will be her 60th professional bout.
The Mexican is ranked ninth by the WBC in a top 10 that has three boxers from the North American country, which is renowned for producing international champions.
Top-ranked Jackie Nava, Mariana Juarez and world Super Bantamweight champion Yamileth Mercado are all from Mexico. And Zimbabwean boxing fans will have a test of Mexican flavour when the HICC stages the historic WBC fight.
This is the first time Zimbabwe is hosting a female WBC contest.
Fans willing to watch the match by the ringside would have to fork out US$100, while the VIP section will cost US$50.
Ordinary tickets are going for US$10.
Dubbed “Fire in the Hole”, Chiwandire’s title defence is expected to attract a huge crowd.
The Zimbabwean has since made one huge promise.
“I am going to make Zimbabwe proud. I will not disappoint or hurt my fellow Zimbabweans,” Chiwandire said.
The 27-year-old pugilist made history in February when she became the first female Zimbabwean boxer to hold a WBC title after defeating highly-rated Catherine Phiri of Zambia in Lusaka.
She is now the official WBC Interim Super Bantamweight champion and could have a shot at the WBC gold belt if she sails past Munoz.
The 35-year-old Mexican only has four defeats in 59 matches, but three of those losses came in the last five years.
Could age be taking its toll on the Mexican?
She was knocked out in the seventh round by Dina Thorslund of Denmark in her last fight, which was held in Kolding on November 13, 2021.
Chiwandire has been watching videos of her opponent’s bouts and is convinced she will floor her.
“I am ready to rumble; I am just waiting for the day so that I can shine in the ring,” she said.
“I have watched a lot of her (Munoz) fights and I can tell you there is nothing special about her.
“She will fall in Harare.”
Chiwandire’s three children are inspiring her just as much as her growing number of fans.
“To be where I am it was all about the support I got from my fans; they give me strength. That is why I do not want to disappoint them.
“I also get motivation when I see my kids; I have to win this fight for them,” she said.
Chiwandire is a multi-talented athlete, who has also played football and some karate at international level.
She goes into the fight against Munoz with a modest 5-2-1 record, but the boxer is not reading much into those statistics.
“It’s my time to go to the top and Munoz will not stop me,” she declared.