Tadious Manyepo-Sports Reporter
NINE seasoned local amateur boxers have upped their preparations ahead of the Mount Kilimanjaro trial tournament scheduled for Tanzania later this month.
The four-day meet is billed to open on May 26.
The pugilists were selected during national amateur championships held since the beginning of the year.
National team coach Alexander Kwangwari said his boxers were geared for the event.
“So far, the Zimbabwe Boxing Federation has successfully held three major tournaments with the first one being the Shumba Academy Open Boxing Tournament held in Harare on February 26, followed by the Bulawayo Boxing Tournament on April 2 and the Victoria Falls Boxing Tournament on May 5.
“We used those tournaments and the intervening training sessions to prepare and hone the skills of our boxers as we are taking no chances at the continental stage availed by the imminent Kilimanjaro Trial Tournament, which will be a build up for the All Africa Boxers’ Tournament to be held in Ghana next year,” said Kwangwari.
“Zonal and regional games provide our boxers with the necessary exposure that they require in building their confidence to stand the heat that comes with fighting at international tournaments. It is for this reason that the ZBF leaves nothing to chance whenever given an opportunity to take part in international tournaments.”
Kwangwari said boxers need more international games to ascertain their confidence when exposed to fight under a carnival atmosphere that comes with big tournaments. Kwangwari cited lack of sponsorship as the major factor that was hampering their participation at many international Open boxing tournaments.
“In April 2022, our boxers failed to participate at the Zone 4 Elite Championships in Mozambique due to financial constraints and this greatly disadvantages our boxers when it comes to gaining the necessary exposure required in fighting at such levels. However, our boxers will be able to upstage their opponents as we are going to Tanzania as underdogs, something that will not put us under a lot of pressure.”
Luckmore Kamoto and prominent elite female boxer, Agness Kwashi, leads the team which is aiming to bring honours home from a tournament that will draw pugilists from more than nine African countries including the hosts, Tanzania. The boxers will be accompanied by five officials.
Kwangwari said the boxing team was dedicating the tournament to the late Zimbabwe boxing legend, Proud ‘’Kilimanjaro’’ Chinembiri, who was Africa heavyweight champion, since the name of the tournament reminded everyone of his exploits in the ring.
“We are not underrating this tournament since the name Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa so it won’t be easy to reach the top but our team is ready to represent our nation and raise high the national flag,” Kwangwari said.
He appealed to the corporate world to rally behind the team which is currently fundraising for air tickets, kit, accommodation and other expenses during their stay in Tanzania.
Zimbabwe national team boxers
1) Agnes Kwashi – flyweight (50kg)
2) Hillary Josamu – bantamweight (54kg)
3) Wisdom Dube – featherweight (57kg)
4) Luckmore kamoto – lightweight (60kg)
5) Job Mupazviripo light-welterweight (63-5kg)
6) Ntandolwenkosi Nyongoloza – welterweight (67kg)
7) Brandly Ndlovu – light-middleweight (71kg)
8) Mpendulo Ndonga – middleweight (75kg)
9) Anesu Motsi – super-heavyweight 92kg+