Gilbert Munetsi Sports Correspondent
REIGNING World Boxing Federation heavyweight champion Elvis “The Bulawayo Bomber’’ Moyo has pegged a coffee-table life for his Congolese opponent when the two square off in the main bout of a tournament dubbed “New Dawn’’ set for the City Sports Centre on January 26.
Five months ago, Moyo made the same promise at a pre-match press conference with his last opponent, Kenyan Bernard Ade, and his prophecy came to pass.
The South Africa-based pugilist who with a ((W6-KO3; L5; D2) record was on August 25, 2017 afforded the first opportunity to fight before a home crowd at the HICC.
Yesterday, the Bomber was upbeat about the impending bout, predicting that the new rival, Kilola Lubika Didier — alias Knife — would be very fortunate to go beyond the sixth round.
The Zimbabwean spoke to The Herald from Johannesburg and was quick to thank the promoters, Kala-Koda, for throwing him a lifeline and rescuing his boxing career that had since forced him to look up to the code of Mixed Marshall Arts.
“It’s one of those defence title fights where I’m sure I won’t have any form of trouble. In fact, I don’t see any fighter making me break a sweat within the confines of the ring.
“Fighting in the MMA has improved my focus because there I have had to worry about different types of attacks which are 10 times more dangerous than in boxing.
“But like all my fights, I will take ‘Knife’ very seriously until I’m done with him and have knocked him out cold. However, just like the last opponent I will wish him to go to as far 4-6 rounds, but if you witnessed how hard I hit, chances are that he will come out of it severely bruised.
“I will not lose focus on the fact that this is a fight which will lead me to an Austrian opponent who I pray is not going to pull out like the English opponent I was supposed to fight last November . . .’’
Though he is currently ranked Number 1 in Zimbabwe, his placing on position 181 out of 872 heavyweights in the world means that Moyo certainly has to pull up his sleeve to achieve his desired goal.
Meanwhile, a glean at Didier’s record (W6; L2; D0) proves the match-maker’s aim to give spectators real value for their money.
The Congolese, who is also based in South Africa, had a shot at the African Boxing Union title (which he lost), last year, but went on to win three contests on the trot during the same year.
Another WBF title that will be at stake on the same night is the vacant bantamweight which will see another South Africa-based pugilist, Tapiwa “Finnix’’ Tembo, trade leather with Swedi Mohamed of Tanzania.
Tembo, who trains at Blood, Sweat and Tears gym in Cape Town under the tutelage of Felix Venganayi also featured in the last Kala-Koda tournament where he accounted for Tinashe Mutodza in a non-title bout.
Monalisa “Madzimai’’ Sibanda will square off with Malawi’s Eneless Nkahwanthi over eight rounds in a super lightweight tie, while Mbare’s new boxing find, Tinashe “Chairman’’ Mwadziwana challenges another Malawian, Aubrey Masamba, in a super bantamweight non-title match over the same distance.
Wrapping up the supporting bouts will be a fight between fellow countrymen — Thembani Mhlanga and Enock Msambudzi — who both take their act to a grander platform.
“They will fight in the middleweight division.
Fans will fork out $10 for a ringside ticket while the general unreserved seats will attract an admission fee of $2 for the boxing fixture whose broadcasting rights have been awarded to Kwese and Soweto TV.
Local partner to the sponsors Clyde Msonda yesterday hailed the consistent pattern in which boxing events now seem to be visiting the once boxing-starved nation, noting: “they (tournaments and partnerships) are immensely positive as they not only rejuvenate and resuscitate boxing, but also help to boost investor confidence.’’
A former member of the Zimbabwe National Army said his company would be donating 1 000 tickets to the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.