BY MAGRETH RUZVIDZO
WIBA Intercontinental Welterweight boxing champion Monalisa Sibanda remains hopeful that she will retain her title in her clash against Uganda’s Small Valente Aciro in Victoria Falls on July 27.
The tournament, hosted by Mau Mau Boxing Promotions in partnership with Victoria Boxing Academy, will run on the sidelines of the World Boxing Council (WBC) All Africa and the Africa Boxing Union (ABU) training workshops which will be hosted at the same venue.
As of July 15, 106 delegates from 16 countries had confirmed their availability with the number expected to rise before the online registration closes on July 22.
Sibanda told NewsDay Sport that she was looking forward to this opportunity and believes she has what it takes to win the belt.
“I’m definitely going to win the fight. It is not for me only but for the whole nation. I thank the almighty God for the opportunity and I really appreciate the Zimbabwe National Boxing and Wrestling Control Board and Stalin Mau Mau for hosting this professional tournament and I’m grateful to my management team Denvers for paying my sanction fee. Without them the title was going to be stripped in January. They also support me with gym fees and personal allowances so that I focus on my future events,” she said.
“My preparations are going on well, I can’t complain and God is on top of the situation. It hasn’t been an easy journey since I started boxing. I had to sacrifice a lot, but I thank those who have been supporting me from day one — my family, friends, corporate world, individuals and the government. I really appreciate it.”
Her opponent holds two fights which are both losses. Sibanda said she would not focus on that, but on defending her title. Sibanda has five wins and nine losses from 15 fights, the 15th being a no contest.
“I do respect every boxer that enters in the ring. She (Aciro) is good, but I am the best. I promise my nation that definitely with God, I believe that I’m going to win and will break the record than before. I’m working with Simon Sankulani as my boxing coach and we are doing our best. We are still looking forward to more support, I’m looking forward to a brand to dress me so that in return, I can give it mileage,” she said.
Sibanda made history in 2005 when she got her professional licence and became the first female boxer in the country.
Victoria Falls boxing tournament bout
WIBA Title Fight Light Welterweight (10 rounds)
Monalisa Sibanda vs Small Valente Aciro
Cruiserweight (8 rounds)
Anele Bafana vs Alick Gogodo
Super Welterweight (6 rounds)
Freeman Mabvongwe vs Sherriff Kasongo
Super FeatherWeight (6 rounds)
Jeremiah Mhere vs Sydeny Baloyi
Heavy weight 6 rounds
Simon Madhanire vs Romeo Chibanda
Super bantamweight (4 rounds)
Pritchard Dube vs Marshal Shiri
Upper light weight (4 rounds)
Lloyd Mujibulikwa vs tinofadzwa Chikerema
Featherweight (4 rounds)
Cyril Musinamwana vs Allen Green
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