Gypsite Electrical and Civil Contractors has partnered a local boxing promoter, Deltaforce Boxing Academy, to organise fights as they look to resuscitate the ailing sport in the country.
BY HENRY MHARA
The once popular sport in the country is currently on the ropes largely due to lack of sponsorship.
At the weekend, they hosted their inaugural tournament, dubbed the “King of the Ring” in Mbare, where winners were handsomely rewarded.
The biggest winner of the night was Tinashe “Chairman” Madziwana, who got himself a brand new Toyota Hiace and $2 000 cash after knocking out Malawian boxer Robert Kachidza in the sixth round of the main bout, a super-bantamweight title fight.
This was arguably the biggest purse that a boxer has won in a local tournament.
Gypsite director Clemence Zingoni said they wanted to revolutionise the sport that has been marginalised for far too long.
“The country had no ring to start with, so orgainers used to hire from other countries when hosting big tournaments. We started by purchasing a state-of-the-art ring, which was used at the tournament,” Zingoni
“Apart from that, we pledge to sponsor Tinashe for everything he needs from the gym, his clothing and attire, training and even taking care of his diet. We will buy him air tickets for all his international matches.
“And together with Deltaforce, we want to host tournaments in all the provinces next year so that we can identify more talent. We feel this code is lagging behind other sporting disciplines. It’s a pity that this is the only big tournament that was held in the country this year. We plan to have more of these and other grassroots tournaments next year.”
He added: “This is just the beginning. From now on, the sport of boxing will take an upward trajectory. We want to make sure we produce another world-class boxer in the country, and that is the only way our boxers can earn a proper living.
“Boxers currently take the sport as a part-time job because there are no sponsors, but that has to change now and we are ready to help them. We hope this gesture to Tinashe will motivate a lot of other boxers to take the sport seriously. That is the way to promote the sport of boxing and make it a force to reckon in the
Madziwana, who was officially handed his prizes on Tuesday, was over the moon and said with that kind of backing boxers would take the sport seriously.
“It still feels like a dream. I want to thank God for this wonderful present. I should also thank my sponsor Gypsite. I can’t really express my feelings. I just hope they will continue supporting me, because with their support, the sky is the limit. With this kind of support, I can win the world title,” he said.
“I have to work even harder and take this career more seriously. With my team at Deltaforce Academy and manager Clyde Musonda, and my sponsor, we will have to sit down and map the way forward. We have to go for the Africa title next year, I think that’s the next logical step from here and then we go for the world title in the near future.”