Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
SOUTH Africa-based Zimbabwean fighter and former World Boxing Federation (WBA) Africa heavyweight champion Elvis Moyo has roped in renowned local trainers Philip Striker Ndlovu and Clyde Musonda for his Friday night title fight.
Better known as Bulawayo Bomber, Moyo will fight Bernard Adie of Kenya for the vacant WBF Africa heavyweight title at the Rainbow Towers in Harare on Friday.
Moyo is one of two Zimbabwean pugilists that will trade leather in two title fights at the Kalakoda Promotions and Kwese Sport boxing bill dubbed “Harare Geddon”.
Harare-based cruiserweight boxer Sting Gonarenda is the other Zimbabwean that will fight for the WBF African Championships with Kamanji Ramadan of Tanzania.
Speaking from his Johannesburg base yesterday, Moyo, who had to postpone his promotional trip to Harare last week due to personal commitments, said Ndlovu, who groomed him at Makokoba’s Tshaka Youth Centre, and Musonda will be in his corner for Friday night’s fight.
“Unfortunately, there were some urgent matters that I had to attend to last week and have since booked a Tuesday morning flight to Harare. I will train at Pro-Fitness Gym at the Rainbow Towers and have asked my former mentor Striker (Ndlovu) to join me in Harare so that he works with my trainer Soon Botes. I believe the presence of Musonda and Ndlovu in my corner on fight night will make me feel at home,” said Moyo.
Botes is a former South African heavyweight boxer.
Friday’s fight will be Moyo’s first home professional bout of his career.
His last bill in Zimbabwe was against Edmos Takawira in 2008 in a bout promoted by Stalin Mau Mau.
Since turning professional in September 2008 in South Africa when he lost by a technical knockout to Ilunga Makaba, Moyo now has five wins from 12 boxing bouts.
His victories were against Kali Kalembe and Stephen Castle at Emperor’s Palace in 2011, Justice Silinga (2012), Machimana in November 2013 and Nigeria’s Akeem Tijani, whom he fought last month in Namibia.
Moyo has lost five times to Danie Venter, Joseph Chingangu, Flo Simba and Ilunga Makaba, who knocked him out twice in 2008 and 2010.
His draws were against Machimana at the beginning of last year and Jonny Muller in 2010.
The Bulawayo Bomber is ecstatic ahead of the fight.
“I’m really excited that I’ll be fighting at home for the title and with the people of Zimbabwe rallying behind me, I’m confident of winning the title. I can’t wait to fight in front of my people and this will be the first time in my career to fight in the comfort of being at home. I wish and want this tournament to be a success so that we continue to attract international sponsors to bankroll our fights. Zimbabwe has talent and I know the guys who will fight will show the continent what we’re made of,” said Moyo.
Besides Gonarenda’s cruiserweight title fight against Ramadan, there are seven under card bouts stacked with some of the country’s finest boxers.
Local favourite Tinashe Madziwana will face countryman Tapuwa Tembo in a bantamweight bout.
Other Zimbabweans that will be in action are Lawrence Moyo in a light welterweight fight against Malawi’s Wilson Masamba, Felix Vengesayi, who will trade leather against George Otieno in a lightweight bout, and Nicola Mutondara, whose international super middleweight bout opponent is Alick Mweda of Malawi.
The other locals that have secured fights in the August 25 bill are the middleweight pair of Freeman Musariri and Liberty Muwahi as well as the welterweight duo of Last Magare and Phisidza Musarire.
According to organisers, the event will be broadcast in 38 countries, with a viewership of approximately 200 million on Kwese Sports 1, Kwese Free Sports, Soweto TV (DStv Channel 251) and streamed globally on the Kwese mobile app.
Local broadcaster ZBC will also broadcast the fights.
August 25 bouts
Vacant WBF Africa Heavyweight Title: Elvis Moyo (Zimbabwe) v Bernard Adie (Kenya), Vacant WBF Africa Cruiserweight Title: Sting Gonorenda (Zimbabwe) v Kamanji Ramadan (Tanzania)
Cruiserweight: Ilunga Makabu Jr (DRC) v Mussa Ajibu (Malawi). Welterweight: Wilson Masamba (Malawi) v Lawrence Moyo (Zimbabwe). Lightweight:
Felix Vengenayi (Zimbabwe) v George Otieno (Kenya), super middleweight: Nicola Mutondara (Zimbabwe) v Alick Mweda (Malawi),
Bantamweight: Tinashe Madziwana (Zimbabwe) v Tapua Tembo (Zimbabwe). Middleweight: Freeman Musariri (Zimbabwe) v Liberty Muwahi (Zimbabwe), Light welterweight: Last Magare (Zimbabwe) v Phisidza Musarire (Zimbabwe). — @ZililoR
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