Night of Boxing Returns

National champions Monalisa Sibanda and Tinashe “Chairman” Madziwana are confident of defending their titles tonight as local boxing makes another huge statement on its recovery path in Zimbabwe at the Kubatana tournament that also features international bouts.

The tournament, scheduled to light up the Harare City Sports Centre comes under the auspices of the Kalakoda Promotions and Kwesé Sports Friday Fights Nights series, which have made big strides of late in giving the sport a new kiss of life after years of stagnation.

The organisers yesterday confirmed five fights at the weigh-in ceremony in what promises to be a splendid night of heavy punches headlined by the international heavyweight title fight between Elvis “Bomber” Moyo and Ukrainian Maksim Pedyura.

The other international fight pits local boxer Chamunorwa “Sting” Gonorenda with Djokito Sakuji of DRC in eight rounds for the international cruiserweight non-title fight.

Zimbabwe’s Wesley McDade will face-off with Malawian Bright Mdoka in the super middleweight title fight while Madziwana defends his national super bantamweight belt against Ronald “Captain” Timani in the last match of the night.

The national female lightweight title match between born-again Monalisa Sibanda and Chiedza Homakoma is expected to set the tone for the night. Sibanda, who weighed 60,5kg, faces a stern test from the upcoming female boxer.

The veteran female pugilist said she is happy to defend her title after years without having to get the chance for a local fight.

“I thank God for answering my prayers. I have been waiting for this opportunity for years. I was travelling to other countries and fighting against international boxers, but sadly I never had the opportunity to defend my title at home.

“So I am happy that boxing is back in Zimbabwe and I thank Kwesé Sport for branding me. I am ready, more than the word itself. I am expecting a good fight, nice and clean. But to me it’s more like a delayed match. I want to show that I am a champion. I won’t be in a rush for a knockout,” said Sibanda.

Homakoma weighed 60,9kg and has promised Sibanda a good run for her money in her first big match.

In the international heavyweight fight, billed to be the main attraction of the night, Moyo believes his fight against Pedyura will open the doors for him to more lucrative fights in Europe.

Moyo looks to ride on home support in his quest and is confident. He has shed a little bit of kilos since his last fight, but at 122,9kg, he has to brace for an explosive fight from the Ukrainian who is taller and with better arm reach. Pedyura weighed-in 108,9kg.

“I am hoping he will bring a good challenge, but I am also planning to stop him. As you can see, I am already going international and this is my first step into Europe.

“He is taller, he has got reach, and it doesn’t worry me. It works two ways. He is taller, so I cannot miss him with any punch I throw. I may land it and I may land it hard,” said Moyo.

This will be Moyo’s second fight of the year, having successfully defended his World Boxing Federation Africa heavyweight title against Congolese Kilola Lubika “Knife” Didier in January.

National super bantamweight champion Madziwana said he will not take chances against Timani.

“I have been working hard for this and I am confident of winning. I am ready for the fight. With Ronald, we know each other very well so it’s going to be an interesting fight,” said Madziwana.

Zimbabwe National Boxing Board of Control representative Patrick Mukondiwa praised the promoters for their investment in the sport in recent months.

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