When he fell in love with the combat sport as an eight-year-old boy, Zimbabwean boxer Wesley McDade’s dream was to become the best fighter in the world.
And although his career has progressed in fits and starts, with inactivity on the local boxing circuit limiting him to just five fights so far, since making his professional debut 13 years ago, nothing has changed for the 35-year-old pugilist.
“I have always wanted to become the best boxer in the world from when I started at eight. To become a world champion is every boxer’s goal and for me the dream is still there. I believe it’s possible with support, sponsorship and promotion that has been going on recently, it’s possible,” the super-middleweight boxer told The Sports Hub.
McDade, who is affectionately known as “Shumba” or “White Lion” in local boxing circles, says he is encouraged by the recent increase in activity on the local boxing front powered by Kwese Sports and Kalakoda Promotions which has seen him featuring in two fights so far this year.
In his last fight, McDade knocked out Chris Bobo from the Democratic Republic of Congo late last month at the Harare City Sports Centre and earlier in the year he had floored fellow Zimbabwean Edmos “Pitbull” Takawira.
Before that, McDade’s last bout had been in October 2016, when he pummelled Zambian Donald Kampamba into submission in round four at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC).
McDade explained why he had not had that many fights in a career spanning almost a decade and a half.
“With boxing not being so developed in this country, I didn’t really take off so well. There are moments when I have not been active but then with Kalakoda Promotions coming, there is a lot more boxing activity happening. Hence, I have also become more active.
“I preferred to fight at home mainly since I became a pro. A lot of guys were going outside the country and were exposed to difficult fights where one’s only chance of a win was a knockout or else the home boxer gets the decision. I saw it happen a lot of times and I decided to build a clean and honest record so I can market myself better,” he said.
On his debut, McDade lost to Edward Nhundu in Rusape, but that would be his one and only loss as he has gone on to record four wins on the trot, all of them knockouts.
The last couple of years have been memorable for the former Prince Edward School student who is by far one of the most popular boxers and gets arguably the loudest cheers from fans at local events.
“My experience with the fans has been awesome. They are the ones who motivate us. They inspire us to train hard and to perform well. We do it for the fans and so I appreciate their support so much,” McDade said.
The boxer, who is sponsored by Nashua Automated Business Solutions, is hopeful of fighting for titles in the near future.
“There is a lot of activity, so there is the possibility of a national title fight coming up soon, maybe around August. From there, we will be looking for an African title and from there we will see what is in store for us as we aim for the ultimate goal, that of a world championship,” he said.
“Boxing is a very mental game, you have to be mentally prepared, you have to be skilful, your body has to be functioning at 100%. You cannot compromise, you have to maintain your body and health. You can’t abuse your body in any way and if you take shortcuts, you are not going to achieve the desired results,” he added.
With the help of the company he works for, McDade is in the process of registering a boxing academy under the name Nashua Boxing Academy.
Already the company boasts of four amateur and four professional boxers including former World Boxing Organisation Intercontinental All-Africa champion Tineyi Maridzo.
Denver Wynne, the trainer who took Maridzo to the top of the boxing world, is also part of the project, which promises to yield great results.
“We are in the process of registering our own boxing academy. When I eventually retire, I want to continue building the youngsters in the sport and develop the sport from amateur to professionals, pass on the knowledge so that they can have better opportunities than we did,” revealed McDade.
The amateurs from the academy were scheduled to compete in Victoria Falls this weekend.
McDade paid tribute to his family, which he says has supported him 100%, especially his wife, Jamie Leila.