The Sunday Mail
PAULUS AMBUNDA, an African boxing prodigy who has held world titles under four sanctioning bodies, and IBF past president Onesmo Ngowi are expected in Harare for this year’s Independence Day boxing tournament scheduled for the City Sports Centre on April 18. The event is being put together by Deltaforce Boxing Academy in partnership with Global Boxing Stars.
Affectionately known as “The Rock”, Ambunda is a former bantamweight and featherweight world champion under the World Boxing Association (WBA), World Boxing Council (WBC), World Boxing Organisation (WBO) and the International Boxing Organisation (IBO) banners.
He will be in the country to headline a World Africa Boxing Association (WABA) super-bantamweight supreme title bout against national champion Tinashe “The Chairman” Mwadziwana (17-12).
There are seven supporting matches lined up for the Uhuru night.
WABA is a new boxing “baby” founded by Tanzanian Onesmo Ngowi in his quest to uplift the careers of talented fighters of African origin. He has since given up his position as the president of IBF Africa, the Middle East and Persian Gulf to pursue the WABA initiative.
As the match commissioner of the main bout, this man from East Africa will make his trip to Harare around Independence Day.
Ngowi is determined to ensure that his project successfully spreads its tentacles to cover the southern part of this continent.
Ngowi has a rich boxing and professional resume that has seen him serving on the Commonwealth Boxing Council as a director for 19 years. He has also been a goodwill ambassador for the State of Kentucky (US) as well as the Order of St George in North America, which is chaired by Queen Elizabeth II.
“Africa’s first world sanctioning body, WABA, will be bringing its inaugural world supreme title featuring two of the continent’s best — Ambunda and Mwadziwana.
“As the founding president and chairman of the WABA board, I’m delighted by the fact that Zimbabwe is taking pole position to promote the first supreme world title. This, of course, goes with the country’s zeal and vigour. But let me hasten to say that this historic event would not have materialised were it not for the great assistance rendered by Scott Patrick Farrell, the CEO of World Boxing Stars (GBS), who enjoys a healthy working relationship with Senator Manny Pacquiao, current WBO champion John Riel Casemiro, and many others working behind the scenes,’’ said Ngowi.
Veteran match-maker and Deltaforce promoter Clyde Musonda told The Sunday Mail Sport that Zimbabweans from all walks of life should expect a full-course boxing menu, which will be served on the country’s 40th anniversary. “The show will deliver an exciting international fight card. lt will definitely leave fans and sponsors begging for more,’’ he said.
The supporting bouts include Kagiso Bagwasi versus Freeman Mabvongwe (welterweight), Ndodana Ncube versus Kutlwano Ogaketse (lightweight), Simbarashe Hokonya versus Steven Bagwasi (featherweight), Revai Madondo versus Ndao Chirimba (flyweight) and Monalisa Sibanda versus Happy Dauda (super lightweight).
Meanwhile, current world heavyweight champion Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder is expeceted to visit Zimbabwe in March. Wilder is said to be on a mission to market Zimbabwe to the world.
Wilder will face Tyson Fury in a February 22 rematch at the GMG Grand, Las Vegas, in a bid to retain his WBC crown as well as maintain his record of having the best knockout rate in his division (around 98 percent).
So far he has won 42 fights (41 of them by KO) and drawn once.