By Michael Kariati
It’s-make-or-BREAK for Zimbabwe’s Tinashe Madziwane when he steps into the ring at the Windhoek Country Club in Namibia this evening to challenge Nathaniel Kakololo for the African Boxing Union featherweight title.
Madziwane and trainer Cyde Musonda have been in Namibia since Sunday last week to acclimatise with the environment and today, they will know whether the journey was worth the effort.
“We arrived here last Sunday and we have been training for this bout. Now that the time has come, it’s now time to show the rest of the world what we are capable of,” Musonda said.
The African Boxing Union title is a route towards challenging for the World Boxing Council (WBC) belt and at the age of 32, Madziwane knows he has to do it now as age is not on his side.
Going into the bout, Madziwane appears the more experienced of the two fighters although Kakololo has a very impressive record. The Namibian has won 10 of his 12 fights, lost one and drawn once.
Madziwane on the other hand has been into the ring on 27 occasions, winning 17 of those fights and losing in 10, with one drawn.
Prior to his departure for Windhoek, Madziwane was camped in Chivhu where he was sparring with boxers from the Charles Manyuchi Academy to improve his fitness.
“ We were sparring with the best in Zimbabwe and Tinashe is ready for the fight. He knows what winning this title means to his life. We should be celebrating at the end of the fight” said Musonda.
The Charles Manyuchi Academy has built itself a good name in Zimbabwean boxing circles and also houses Brendon Denese, the World Boxing Organisation’s Africa welterweight champion.
Coincidentally, the route that Madziwane wants to take is the same road that Manyuchi travelled on his way to becoming the WBC silver belt middleweight title holder.
Manyuchi first wrestled the African Boxing Union title from Patrice Peko of Burkina Faso in 2013 before he was accorded the chance to challenge for the WBC title.
The African Boxing Union and the World Boxing Council have a strong relationship that enables African champions to challenge for the prestigious WBC titles.
Other Zimbabwean boxers who won ABU titles are the late Proud “Kilimanjaro” Chinembiri, Langton “Schoolboy” Tinago and Stix McLoud. Although he won the Commonweath title, Arifonso Zvenyika, the “Mosquito” never fought for the ABU title.
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