The Zimbabwe boxing team for the All-Africa Games has received what could be a telling blow after a last-minute cancellation of their proposed training camp in Botswana.
The Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) who in June had invited six local boxers together with that of Tunisia, recently withdrew the invitation after they changed their training programme and sent their team to China instead.
Their boxers who are already in the Asian country will only return this Saturday, which is seven days before the multi-sport quadrennial event to be held in Maputo, Mozambique, kicks off.
The three-man Zimbabwean boxing team will now join the rest of Team Zimbabwe for the final camp at Belvedere Teachers’ College on Thursday.
Light-heavyweight Josphat Mushayi, lightweight Forster Masiyambumbi and his brother Steven, who is in the flyweight division, make up the Zimbabwean team.
Steven was part of the team that was at the games’ last edition in Algeria four years ago.
Zimbabwe Amateur Boxing Association (Zaba) technical director Petros Masiyambumbi is the head coach, to complete a family affair.
Gweru-based Zaba secretary Goodwill Sibanda on Tuesday said: “BoBa informed us that the camp is off because they had changed their schedule and their boxers are currently training in China. We will just train here at home and try to do our best at the games. I cannot say that has affected us negatively. It happens.”
The local pugilists were scheduled to trade leather with those from Botswana and Tunisia in sparring sessions, and further gauge their preparedness after a dismal show at the Zone VI championships held in Botswana earlier this year.