ZBF Creates Competition For Local Boxers
Zimbabwe Boxing Federation (ZBF) technical director Steven Masiyambumbi believes they have taken the right direction in their bid to create a competitive environment for local amateur boxers by bringing in fighters from other countries within the region during their national events.
The national federation are eyeing to host their third national Open tournament in Victoria Falls this coming Saturday in conjunction with Victoria Falls Boxing Academy.
The tournament is expected to feature boxers from Zambia as the relationship between the two countries continues to grow. ZBF reckons the involvement of other countries will give local fighters the challenge they need to go a step further in their growth. In their previous event staged in Bulawayo, it featured nine boxers from Botswana; and Zimbabwe won five of the nine bouts that were on offer while the former took four.
Masiyambumbi said they realised the need to take their game to the next level and move away from the tradition when their tournaments featured only local fighters.
“We have invited Zambia to take part in the next tournament in Victoria Falls. So, Zambia have said they will come and participate. We are still waiting for them to send the final team for clearance but they have indicated that they are coming.
“We realised it gives us an opportunity to rate ourselves, where we are within the region. Unlike in the past, we were just having local boxers for our tournaments and when it came to regional and international events, it became difficult for most of our boxers.
“So this creates good competition. Right now our performance since we started has been on the rise. At the Zone IV Games early this year we were number three. So it’s an indication we will have good fights this year,” said Masiyambumbi.
Some of the boxers earmarked for the upcoming tournament in Victoria Falls are Farai Makumbe from Gwanda, Bulawayo’s Zibusiso Nyoni and Jojo Thomas, Knowledge Mariku of Harare and Tinotenda Pfunye from Mashonaland East.
Masiyambumbi said the suspension of the previous executive in 2016 affected some of the national federation’s activities but they are pleased with the way things are now shaping up.
“I think from last of last year we had a problem after our executive was dissolved, we did not have many tournaments because our house was not in order. But from last year we have tried to have tournaments both at club and national level.
“Our wish is to make sure that boxing is everywhere because there are so many boxers out there with the potential to turn professional. But it starts with amateur and we need to have more tournaments,” Masiyambumbi said. The ZBF technical director said it’s also an opportunity for them to identify boxers for future regional and continental events.
“Last time we had Botswana, they brought nine fighters. Basically what I can say is we are aiming for bigger events, the Region Five Games in Botswana in December, African Games next year and the Olympic Games. For us it was our way to start building our team,” added Masiyambumbi.