THERE is no respite for Zimbabwe’s top female boxer Kudakwashe “Take Money” Chiwandire.
Her World Boxing Council super-bantamweight interim title defence fight against Mexican Zulina Munoz scheduled for this Saturday at the Harare International Conference Centre is still hanging in the balance.
Promoters of the bout, Delta Force Academy, have since initiated talks with the WBC and the Munoz camp for yet another postponement.
They have failed to raise the required resources to stage the fight.
This is despite the fact that Delta Force Academy were given the greenlight to stage the historic showdown back in May.
They have failed to raise even enough money to fly Munoz and her team as well as match officials.
The promoters who, through the Zimbabwe National Boxing and Wrestling Control Board, applied for US$62 000 to help ease their burden, appear to have slept on duty for the past four months.
According to the rules, it is the responsibility of the fight promoters to bring all required staff yet Delta Force Academy are pointing fingers at the ZNBWCB whose mandate is only to regulate the sport.
By yesterday, the ZNBWCB were running around to try and save the situation.
Authorities at the Harare International Conference Centre had also given the promoters up to late yesterday to make the venue booking for it to be reserved for the big fight. Other parties, including some churches, are reported to have been put on standby in case Delta Force Academy failed to pay for the facility.
It’s looking gloomy, given there is no enough time for the Mexican boxer and officials to fly for the Saturday bout.
The only option is to seek further postponement for the fight which was initially scheduled for August 27 before the promoters also sought for deferment.
ZNBWCB chief executive, Lawrence Zimbudzana, told The Herald yesterday they were still hopeful the fight will go ahead.
“As rightly said by the chairperson of my board, Vee Chibanda, this week, it is the responsibility of the promoters to seek funds to host a tournament. That is the practice the world over,” said Zimbudzana.
“When Delta Force Academy were given the opportunity to host the fight, we were all happy.
“Obviously and as we have always done, we requested that the promoters move quickly to try and find sponsorship.
“We are aware that they have been saying they got sponsors. We have been seeing flyers and also reading in the newspapers.
“So what we have done is that we requested them to bring forward all the terms they have with various sponsors and how much they have raised so that we can have a clearer picture of what is needed so that we can chip in.
“Unfortunately, we haven’t been given anything as yet. We are very confident the Government will support us but we demand transparency from the promoters so that we can map a way forward.”
Zimbudzana said his board will, nevertheless, work flat out to ensure the fight is staged and save Chiwandire from possibly losing her belt without a fight.
“Firstly, this is the first ever WBC-sanctioned fight to be hosted in Zimbabwe.
“It is in the best interest of this country to host this tournament.
“The boxing landscape in this country will never be the same again if we manage to host this particular fight.
“So, as a board, we are fully behind this tournament’s success. What we are only demanding is transparency over the manner in which everything is being held. We helped apply for some money from the Government to cater for some key areas and we are sure we will get that.
“But, we also need to know what those sponsors we are seeing on flyers are bringing. We need to see how much the sponsors have raised through other initiatives so that we know how we can intervene and save the fight.
“We cannot have a situation whereby there are several corporates on the flyers and there is nothing on the table for the benefit of the staging of the fight.
“We proposed a contract with the promoters and they refused to sign or reach a compromise.
“By tomorrow (today), we should be in a position to know what is happening pertaining to the fight.”
Delta Force Academy director, Clyde Musonda, said his organisation is in touch with both the WBC vice-president Houichi Houcine, who is supervising the fight, and Zulina’s camp. He revealed he has since alerted them of a possibility of another postponement to which they have agreed in principle.
“It’s not looking good for us. We have activated some channels to try and reach top offices to get help. At the moment, the fight is effectively off,” said Musonda.
“But, we are in touch with concerned parties as we seek postponement of the fight.”
But, the fight can only be moved by at most a week.
Failure to agree on the postponement will spell disaster for Chiwandire who will have to start all over again as her belt will be stripped.