ZIMBABWEAN boxing is in a shambles with the country having no recognised champion in any weight division, investigations have established. By Langton Nyakwenda
Boxers’ records are also in a mess, a development that makes it impossible for local pugilists to compete on the international stage.
A boxer’s record is crucial in ascertaining his worth on the international scene and also determines his ability to attract high profile promoters and fights.
A member of the newly appointed Zimbabwe National Boxing Board of Control Thomas Kambuyi revealed that they have since started working towards coming up with rankings for local boxers.
“There is need for the establishment of a ratings committee that will trace the boxers’ records and establish who the last champion in each weight division was. At the moment no such records exist,” said Kambuyi.
However, according to respected boxing stats website Boxrec Zimbabwe’s heavyweight title – which used to draw much attention in the 1980s when the late Proud “Kilimanjaro” Chinembiri reigned supreme – was last held by Tamsanqa Dube of Bulawayo.
Dube knocked out Smart Nkomo to claim the title at Raylton Sports Club on February 14, 2009.
The welterweight title fell vacant when the previous holder Charles Manyuchi won the African Boxing Union belt in 2013.
Takudzwa Kuchocha once had a claim to the title which is now being eyed by 28-year-old Enock Musambudzi of Juluka Boxing Stable.
Research shows that Anyway Katunga of Epworth, who is now training under Arifonso “Mosquito” Zvenyika, was the last light flyweight champion while Teddy Sabuneti of Juluka was the last recognised holder of the flyweight title.
The flyweight category was popularized locally by Zvenyika when he won the Commonwealth title in 1998.
Tinashe “The Chairman” Madziwane of Mbare won the bantamweight title on August 30, 2009 when he knocked out Zenzo Ncube at Raylton Sports Club but hasn’t defended his belt since then.
The last recognised champion in the cruiserweight category is Chamunorwa Gonorenda who defeated the legendary Arigoma Chiponda at the Zambezi Valley Hotel in Kariba on November 11, 2006.
The controversial but talented Tineyi Maridzo is listed as the super middleweight title holder after he won it in 2009 at the expense of Victor Moyo.
Gibson Mapfumo of Boris Zneider’s Black Fist was the last recognized light heavyweight champion after he beat Edmos Takawira of Gweru at the Raylton Sports Club in December 2012.
Maridzo also won an elimination bout for the light heavyweight title in 2013 and remains the number one contender for that belt.
Modecai “Big Fish” Donga, who is now part of the new boxing board, held the super welterweight title he won after beating Manyuchi on points at Raylton on July 25, 2007.
In the ladies category, Patience Masitara was a recognized champion after she beat Nyarai Mageda in the featherweight category.