Tedious Manyepo: Sports Reporter

ZIMBABWE National Army Boxing coach Steven Masiyambumbi has urged his pugilists to guard against complacency when they plunge into battle in this year’s edition of the Zimbabwe National Championships scheduled for Shurugwi this Saturday.The tournament is set to attract more than 200 boxers from all the country’s 10 provinces as well as the ZNA. In an interview yesterday, Masiyambumbi implored his boxers not to dwell much on their past performances as they could be shocked by upcoming fighters at this tournament. Most fighters in the ZNA stable are the defending champions in their respective weight categories.

“I want to implore my boxers not think much about what they have done in the past. “This is a new tournament with different demands. It is a new ball game altogether. “It is not going to matter whether one has been a champion in the past two or so years.

“We have to concentrate on our opponents on the day if we are to make any meaningful statement at the tournament,” said Masiyambumbi.

The tournament will see fighters battling it out in flyweight, bantamweight, light-welterweight, lightweight, middleweight, light-heavyweight, heavy and Super heavyweight categories. Bulawayo Metropolitan Province secretary-general Irvine Mathe said his team have had enough preparations for the competition and they are “ready to rumble”.

“We have quite a number of boxers in the province who are capable of dislodging all the title holders at the tournament. “From the way we have prepared, I can safely say we are gunning for gold in all the categories,” said Mathe.

The ZNA duo of Casper Mkandla (lightweight) and Ndodana Moyo (light-welterweight) as well as Great Zimbabwe’s Brendon Dennis (light-welterweight) are some of the boxers expected to light up the event.

The boxing fiesta will also provide a preparatory platform for the Zimbabwe Under-20 team, which will participate at the forthcoming African Union Youth Games to be hosted by Angola in December.

The sport of boxing is on a revival path in the country following a high-level World Boxing Council-sanctioned tournament held at the Harare International Conference Centre mid-this month.

The jamboree, which saw Zimbabwe’s best welterweight boxer Charles Manyuchi beat his Colombian opponent Jose Agustin Feria in the first round by a TKO, also had eight other bouts being fought on the night.


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