More than a boxing bout 

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KUDAKWASHE ‘TAKE MONEY’ CHIWANDIRE’s World Boxing Council interim super-bantamweight title defence against Mexican challenger Zulina Munoz at the International Conference Centre tonight is more than a boxing extravaganza.

It is indeed a feather in the cap of the country’s engagement and re-engagement policy.

This time our engagement and re-engagement is not limited to politics and financial matters only.

It includes aspects of man as a political and social animal, sport included.

Gone seems to have been those days when the country was portrayed as a pariah State, unfit to stage such an international event. 

The showdown at the International Conference Centre tonight is historic since it is the first time ever Zimbabwe will be hosting a WBC sanctioned fight.

True, we have had fights sanctioned by regional or continental bodies before. Langton ‘School Boy’ Tinago was a lightweight and super-feartherweight champion of the Commonwealth.

Our own ‘Man mountain’, Proud ‘Kilimanjaro’ Chinembiri was a continental heavyweight of note.

Staging a fight authorised by the world’s best sanctioning boxing board like the WBC puts the country under the glare of the boxing world.

It might be appropriate at this stage to say kudos to the sporting fraternity for putting us on the world sporting map.

Only recently, our resurgent Chevrons stole the limelight by qualifying for the T20 World Cup, beating Bangladesh in a T20 series and, believe it or not, won in Australia.

This time, it is Chinembiri’s turn.

Worldwide interest in the super-bantamweight fight is enhanced by the fact that the winner becomes the mandatory challenger for the main belt. 

And tonight, if ‘Take Money’ does it, Zimbabwe’s boxing image will soar in the boxing world.

No wonder the Government had to intervene with cash to make sure the fight goes ahead, after two hiccups had seemed to derail the showdown. 

If the fight had failed to go ahead, there was the unimaginable possibility of Zimbabwe losing hosting rights.

Not only that, ‘Take Money’ would also have been stripped of her World Boxing Council interim super-bantamweight title without throwing a punch.

With all those nightmarish fears out of the way, we are expecting a befitting duel from the female pugilists tonight.

Of course, a decent crowd of partisan spectators, cheering their heroine as she tries to destroy her Mexican opponent, will add flavour to the atmosphere. 

The decision by the promoters, Delta Force Academy, to cut entry costs for early birds by half should help to guarantee a full house.

With a number of mouthwatering supporting bouts on the undercard, spectators are assured of a night to remember.

We are told both boxers are raring to go, with Munoz early in the country in time to acclimatize.

Our own ’Take Money’ is said to have fine-tuned her skills at a training camp in South Africa and is in fine shape.

Whatever the outcome of the bout, Zimbabwe would have achieved a technical knockout against her foes, both from within and without.

We are ready to engage and re-engage on all fronts, boxing included.

What with global visibility through media coverage as the best ranked female boxer across all weight categories in Africa displays her skills!

She is a Zimbabwean and the WBC sanctioned world title eliminator is being staged in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare.

We think it’s high time those who think Zimbabwe must be ostracised by imposing illegal sanctions take a long hard look at themselves.

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