The Sunday Mail
WHILE Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Minister Kirsty Coventry continues to ponder over the composition of the next boxing board, the sport has remained in limbo since March.
The fraternity is growing restless. There hasn’t been a boxing board since December 31, 2019, when the Richard Hondo-led executive’s tenure expired. There also hasn’t been tournaments since the coronavirus-induced lockdown in March.
But with the progressive relaxation of restrictions in some sporting codes, the boxing fraternity is now hopeful that it will soon be given the green light to resume.
The Zimbabwe National Boxing Control Board chief executive officer (CEO), Lawrence Zimbudzana, said a draft proposal on how the sport could resume is awaiting Coventry’s approval.
“The stakeholders are eagerly awaiting the outcome and we hope it will be a positive one,” said Zimbudzana.
“It should be any day from now if everything goes according to plan.
“As for the appointment of the new board, it rests squarely with the minister, who is the appointing authority,” he said. Coventry had not responded to The Sunday Mail Sport by the time of going to print. Amateur boxers are, however, excited about the prospects of representing the country at the next Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan next year. After a dismal show at the Olympic qualifiers staged in Senegal in March, during which no Zimbabwean boxer earned a ticket to Tokyo, another window of opportunity has fortunately opened up. The Zimbabwe Boxing Federation — custodians of amateur boxing in the country — is now expected to send boxers for another round of qualifiers in France in May next year. And national team coach, Alexander Kwangwari is optimistic of a change in fortune.
He is banking on a new find, Anesu “Unstoppable” Motsi, who is highly tipped to be the next big thing in heavyweight boxing.
An administration clerk with a Rusape-based company, Motsi is one of the boxers expected to shine by coach Kwangwari.
“That guy is bad news in a good way. We have given him the nickname ‘Unstoppable’ because no one can stop him,” Kwangwari told The Sunday Mail Sport.
“I have a feeling Motsi has a good future despite his age because he is so good technically,” said the veteran trainer. Motsi is 29 and time could be running out for him, but the ‘arrogant’ pugilist has guts.
“I have had a passion for boxing from when I was still a young boy.
“I used to watch Mike Tyson’s matches and he inspired.
“I want to be like him,” said Motsi.
At 29, can he still make it into the professional world of boxing?
“Yes, not only do I think so, but I have faith and a strong feeling that I can and I will,” said Motsi, who has won a number of medals in regional competitions. Kwangwari, a long-serving boxing expert and Olympiad, has always spoken out about the demise of heavyweight boxing in the country, but in Motsi he has hope. Ever since Proud “Kilimanjaro” Chinembiri’s dominance in the 1980s, no Zimbabwean heavyweight pugilist has won an international belt.
“The potential is there, and in boxers like Motsi, we can only believe,” said Kwangwari.
“All this needs sponsorship.
“We need sponsorship for camping ahead of the qualifiers in France. The last time when we went to Senegal, we had the worst preparations,” said Kwangwari.
Other boxers expected to represent Zimbabwe in France include Tashinga Manyika (heavyweight), Thomas Jojo (welterweight), Zibusiso Nyoni (lightweight), Trade Nkomozabo (featherweight), Ndabezihle Phiri (flyweight), Mandlenkosi Marusenga (lightweight), and Bongani Makovama (featherweight).