Editorial Comment: Chiwandire deserves everyone’s support
THE final countdown is on ahead of one of Kudakwashe “Take Money” Chiwandire’s biggest nights in the boxing ring.
The 26-year-old boxer is scheduled to defend her World Boxing Council (WBC) interim super-bantamweight title against Zulina Munoz of Mexico at the Harare International Conference Centre next Saturday.
This is one of the rare occasions that we get to have a world boxing title fight taking place on our shores. Chiwandire’s title defence fight is definitely going to put Zimbabwe back on the world map in terms of sport.
The fight is likely to attract viewers from across all the continents, hence the need to ensure that as Zimbabwe we host a flawless event.
The venue has hosted international fights before and is equal to the task.
The challenge now is on those behind the organisation of the fight to put the icing on the cake in terms of events management.
Of course, Chiwandire has been preparing for this fight for some time. The night will be made perfect with a sweet victory in front of the home spectators.
The need for thorough preparations when going for a fight of this magnitude cannot be over-emphasised. Chiwandire has demonstrated her capabilities in the past.
She won many admirers when she went to Zambia under difficult conditions earlier this year and conquered their local idol Catherine Phiri, to land the prestigious boxing title.
That was an extraordinary feat which placed her in the history books as the first Zimbabwean to win the WBC gold title.
It is encouraging that the support this time around has improved.
Unlike last time when she got last minute donations to travel to Zambia, there have been some commitments from Government and some local companies that have come to her financial backing to ensure a smooth preparation.
She spent most of her time last month camped in South Africa where she had three sparring matches.
The trip and the stay in South Africa were bankrolled by her sponsors, KGK and Zororo Phumulani, which is powered by Doves Zimbabwe.
So far, things appear to be moving in the right direction. And the Government has been leading the chorus of support for the 27-year-old history-making Chiwandire.
Deputy Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, Tino Machakaire, who is an avid boxing fan, has been hands-on.
He has also dangled the carrot for Chiwandire should she triumph next Saturday.
This is the spirit that we would want to see from all potential sponsors. Sports people need this kind of support to motivate them to do well and put the country on the map.
“Firstly, as the Zimbabwe Government, we are fully behind our female boxer Kudakwashe ‘Take Money’ Chiwandire, who is scheduled to fight Zulina Munoz of Mexico on October 1 at the Harare International Conference Centre,” Machakaire told The Herald this week.
“We are urging the generality of Zimbabweans to go in their numbers and give her the much-needed support.
“Kudakwashe Chiwandire has already done us proud by winning the WBC interim super-bantamweight title in the first place. She has shown that this country has the potential to become a heavyweight in this sport.
“We believe she is in camp and is working hard every day to ensure she is in shape for the fight. We understand she is already carrying the required weight even if she would have opted to carry extra weight for training purposes.
“But, thumbs up to her and the management team for electing to train using the actual weight she is supposed to carry on the day of the fight.
“That is the height of professionalism and we are very happy to be seeing such a committed act being displayed by one of our own.
“Chiwandire has to fight for the badge and make all of us proud. We are very confident she will be able to finish off her opponent.”
The fight has a US$20 000 cash prize for the winner and Machakaire said he is prepared to add to that if Chiwandire manages to emerge victorious.
The Government has previously rewarded local fighters including the iconic Charles Manyuchi who was handed a cool $100 000 in September 2019 by President Mnangagwa at a dinner held to celebrate his victory for beating Pablo Ezequiel of Argentina to win the WBF middleweight world belt.
So the challenge is now on the generality of Zimbabweans to also play their part by filling the HICC to the rafters next Saturday. Chiwandire needs the presence of local supporters to truly feel at home.
The organisers have since put the tickets on sale with the cheapest going for US$10.
Spectators who will be in the VIP Enclosure will have to part with US$50 with those on the ringside expected to pay double that amount.
There will also be executive tables on the night which are going for US$1 000.
The tickets are being sold at the Deltaforce offices at Morgan House, corner Sam Nujoma Street and George Silundika Avenue, Mashwede Village in Glen View, Click and Pay at Eastgate as well as at the Pro Fitness Gym in Borrowdale.