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Chiwandire signs for WBC title challenge

Kudakwashe Chiwandire (right) will challenge Yemileth Mercado of Mexico for the WBC gold belt on March 18

TOP Zimbabwean female boxer Kudakwashe “Take Money” Chiwandire has agreed terms to challenge World Boxing Council super-bantamweight gold champion Yemileth Mercado of Mexico on March 18, with the fight expected to take place at the Gimnasio Manuel Bernardo Aguirre, an indoor arena in Chihuahua, Mexico.

Chiwandire’s coach and promoter Clyde Musonda said all the sticking points regarding the contractual agreement which had delayed the announcement of the date for the much-anticipated fight have been ironed out.

“We had a deadlock on some of the clauses on the contract, but we have finally come to an agreement and we have signed the contract,” Musonda revealed in an interview with NewsDay Sport.

Take Money retained her WBC interim super bantamweight silver title after a unanimous points decision win over Mexico’s Zulina Munoz at the Harare International Conference (HICC) last October.

The victory took Chiwandire one step closer towards challenging for the WBC super-bantamweight gold title, which is in the hands of Yamileth Mercado, also of Mexico.

Mercado defeated fellow Mexican, the veteran Marian Juarez to retain her title, but now faces the prospect of losing it to Chivandire, who is relishing the opportunity of showcasing her talent at the sport’s biggest stage on March 18.

“We have prepared fully and will continue preparing for this fight. Everything is going on well and I am ready even if the fight is tomorrow,” said a confident Chiwandire.

This is probably Chiwandire’s biggest fight since quitting hairdressing to take up boxing, a sport she says she loved since childhood.

Although she has beaten former title holder Catherine Phiri of Zambia and later on Munoz, Chiwandire faces a formidable foe in Mercado who has an impressive record of 19 wins and three losses from 21 fights. Five of her wins were by knockout.

Mercado will also have the advantage of defending her title on home soil where she has a formidable record.

Chiwandire, on her part, has a record of eight fights with five wins, two losses and a draw, but is improving by each fight.

Chiwandire is bidding to become the first Zimbabwean in history and one of the few in Africa to hold the prestigious WBC gold belt.

The gold title or belt is the highest any boxer can go as far as the sport is concerned.

At the moment, Chiwandire holds the WBC silver belt, the same title that Charles Manyuchi held before losing out to Quadratillo Abuduqoxorov of Uzbekistan.

The late Langton “Schoolboy” Tinago, widely regarded as the greatest boxer to come out of this country before the emergence of Chiwandire, and Manyuchi, held three Commonwealth titles, and more importantly, at three different weight divisions.

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